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PUBLIC DOCUMENT 



.No. 33. 



ANNUAL REPORT 



OF THE 



Board of Harbor Commissioners 



FOR 



THE YEAR 18 7 7. 



BOSTON : 
ftanb, &berg, & £0., printers to tfje CommcntntaltJ, 

117 Franklin Street. 
1878. 



<£ommontocaltl) of Jllaesacfjusetta 



HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. 



To the Honorable the Senate and the Home of Representatives of the Common- 
wealth of Massachusetts. 

The Board of Harbor Commissioners, in accordance with 
the provisions of law, respectfully submit their annual Report. 

By the operation of chapter 213 of the Acts of 1877, the 
number of the Board was reduced from five to three members. 
The members of the present Board, having been appointed 
under the provisions of said Act, were qualified, and entered 
upon their duties on the second day of July. The engineers 
employed by the former Board were continued, and the same 
relations to the United States Advisory Council established. 
It was sought to make no change in the course of proceeding, 
and no interruption of works in progress or matters pending ; 
and the present Report embraces the business of the entire 
year. 

South Boston Flats. 

The Board is happy to announce the substantial completion 
of the contracts with Messrs. Clapp & Ballou for the enclosure 
and filling of what has been known as the Twenty -jive-acre 
'piece of South Boston Flats, near the junction of the Fort 
Point and Main Channels, which the Commonwealth by legis- 
lation of 1867 (chapter 354) undertook to reclaim with mate- 
rial taken for the most part from the bottom of the harbor. 

In previous reports, more especially the tenth of the series, 
the twofold purpose of this work, which contemplated a har- 



4 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Ji 



bor improvement and the creation of new territory adjacent, 
has been fully discussed, with' a review of the legislation which 
preceded the contracts above referred to ; and there remains 
now to inquire whether the intent of the Commonwealth has 
been carried out in the manner prescribed, and to the ends 
proposed. 

It was expected, at the time that the Commonwealth entered 
upon this work, that the value of the territory reclaimed would 
much more than offset the cost of the enterprise, including 
the harbor improvement, which was its primary object ; and, 
until the recent general decline of real estate throughout the 
country, the Board, upon well-founded information, remained 
confident that these expectations would be realized. At the 
present moment, no correct estimate can be made of the 
market value of this property ; but since there is little 
reason to doubt that the trade of Boston will share in the 
general revival of business, whenever that may happily occur, 
the hope may still be entertained that the reclamation of the 
flats will prove a financial success. Meantime, and awaiting 
the return of better days, the Commonwealth may congratu- 
late itself upon having initiated a harbor improvement, which, 
in conjunction with that undertaken by the General Govern- 
ment, has already greatly enlarged the commercial advan- 
tages, and increased the navigable facilities of the port. 

It will be remembered that the site of the present reclaimed 
land was formerly a slough grown over with sea-grass, laid 
bare at lowest tides ; and that the site of the -present ship- 
channel in front of this property was much of it equally shal- 
low. A half million of cubic yards of material has been 
dredged from the harbor-bed to fill the territory, most of 
which came from parts of the harbor in front, not before 
navigable, and all of it from ground heretofore too shallow 
for heavy ships. Had the purpose been exclusively an 
improvement of navigation, -the great volume of dredging 
we have named would be a direct and absolute measure of 
harbor improvement ; but as the utilization of the territory 
to be reclaimed entered also into the problem, the dredging 
has been so disposed as to secure the best results for the 
harbor, consistent with the construction -of a deep and ample 
avenue from the new territory to the sea. The Board invites 
attention to the map, showing the space from which shoals 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



5 



have been removed, in support of the above view; but it 
must be borne in mind that the efforts of the Commonwealth 
were expected to be supplemented by the requirements of 
other parties to whom grants of flats should be made, and 
that the entire removal of the shoal which now in greater 
part remains at the mouth of the Fort Point Channel would 
by this time have been accomplished. The heavy wall which 
has been built at the turn of the reclaimed territory, as we 
leave Fort Point Channel, was set back about 850 feet from 
the extreme point of the flats, awash at low spring tides, and 
the 23-feet channel dredged along this wall, converting this 
point into an isolated shoal, is here only about 250 feet wide. 
The entire removal of this shoal would be a boon to the 
commercial interests of the eastern water-front of the city, 
out of all proportion to the cost which it would involve. 

The report of Mr. Edward S. Philbrick, engineer in charge, 
which will be found in the appendix, discusses carefully and 
frankly all the elements which enter into the construction of 
the walls which retain the filling and form the frontage upon 
Fort Point Channel and the harbor proper, and adds state- 
ments of the payments made to the contractors as the work 
progressed. 

Few great works of engineering in tidal harbors have been 
preceded by more careful inquiries into the appliances to be 
used with best economy and safety, than the history of this 
work reveals. The character of the walls which should be 
built, upon a somewhat treacherous bottom, and yet capable of 
sustaining an immense lateral pressure, had been a subject 
of study with engineers during ten years prior to the practical 
commencement of operations ; and the plans adopted may be 
regarded as the fruit of the best talent in the profession, 
Mr. Philbrick's computations of stability for the walls com- 
pleted, argues that no margin for further economy as regards 
weights and dimensions has existed. 

The greatest danger to which the retaining walls, just com- 
pleted, could be subjected from the pressure of the fill- 
ing, has already been encountered, in the opinion of the 
engineer, who believes that the most critical period was that 
during which the clay dredged from the harbor remained as 
a semi-flnid mass behind the walls. A practical lesson brought 
this matter to the attention of the engineer in the first com- 



6 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



plete fillings that were attempted within the light wall. 
" Early after its completion, this wall was filled up to grade 
13 with clay, and a huge pile was left temporarily at a higher 
level near the beginning of the curve. Directly afterwards a 
forward movement of the wall was observed, about a foot in 
amount, and tapering out in about 200 feet of length each 
way. The pile of clay was soon removed by spreading on to 
adjacent spaces, and no further movement has been detected 
here since." 

In his subsequent operations the engineer endeavored, as 
far as practicable, to have the material deposited in layers, and 
suffered to become compact from layer to layer. In this way 
all further pushing outward was avoided, except slight move- 
ments of the dock walls, owing to too rapid filling during 
the last season when the work was hastening to its close. 

The heavy wall at the curve facing the harbor, immedi- 
ately in front of which there is now from 19 to 23 feet of water 
at low tide, is founded upon rubble, and has therefore been 
subject to some settlement as the angular stones below have 
worked into the clay bottom. This was foreseen, it having 
been uniformly the experience with this system of building 
heretofore. "It is now a year since it was loaded by the 
filling, and its stability has been quite satisfactory." Mr. 
Philbrick furnishes tables showing the settlement of the 
lower course of this heavy wall and the present elevation of 
the coping, from which it appears that the settlement varied 
from a maximum of 1.07 feet to a minimum of 0.49 feet. 
The average height of the coping is now 15.62 feet, or 0.38 
below the intended grade. 

Between the State Dock and the dock under construction 
by the Boston and Albany Railroad Company, there is a 
heavy wall of rather different construction from the one 
at the curve, just commented upon. Instead of resting 
upon a considerable elevation of rubble, the wall in question 
is based upon broken stone carefully packed and levelled in a 
trench dredged three or four feet below the bottom, as it was 
destined to be in front. This wall has but recently been 
completed and loaded from behind ; but since the greatest 
danger was immediately after the filling, it is presumed that 
the settlement which has occurred, limited to 0.29 feet, is 
a " guarantee of stability " in future. The coping of this 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



7 



heavy wall varies in elevation from 16.02 to 16.17, with an 
average elevation of 16.08. 

Mr. Philbrick makes the stability of the heavy wall be- 
tween the clocks the subject of an essay, which we have 
desired him to present in his report, appended, because of its 
value as formulated experience, likely to be particularly use- 
ful in the event of any future enclosures of the flats ; and 
because it illustrates what we believe to be the fact, that no 
less massive walls and no less careful execution of the work 
would have answered the purpose. 

The area reclaimed, measured within the outer edges of 
the copings of the retaining walls, is 898,794 square feet, or 
20.64 acres, with a dock, whose additional area is 159,947 
square feet, or 3.67 acres. These spaces, added to the out- 
lying bases of the walls, make up the twenty-five-acre-piece, 
as this territory has thus far been called. 

The dock just mentioned has length, width, and depth 
enough for eight ordinary sailing-ships, or four first-class 
ocean steamers, loading or discharging simultaneously. 

The cost of the work, including all reserve under the con- 
tracts, has been $719,063.49, which is an average of nearly 
68 cts. per square foot, if we include the dock. If the space 
occupied by the dock and that reserved for Northern Avenue 
were to be deducted, the average cost would be 87 J cts. per 
square foot nearly. 

It is proper to add that some claims are made by the con- 
tractors for extras, in the execution of the contracts, which 
are under consideration, but the amount that will finally be 
allowed of such claims has not been ascertained. 

Shoals in Boston Upper Harbor. 

Dredging at East Boston. 
Under the authority vested in the Board, two contracts 
were made for removing additional portions of the shoal 
ground off East Boston frontage. A portion lying off the 
docks of the Cunard Steamship Company has been dredged 
by the Harbor Improvement Company at the contract price 
of 12,800, which has been paid out of the income of the 
compensation fund appropriated for that purpose, — the work 



8 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



having been satisfactorily completed in September last. A 
portion lying off Dock No. 6 of the Grand Junction Wharf 
property is being dredged by W. S. Fretch & Co., at a con- 
tract price of $8,962.80. Partial payments have been made 
upon this work as it has progressed ; and the contractors state 
that it will be finished within a few days from the date of 
this Report. 

Anchorage Shoal. 

This shoal occupies a central portion of the upper harbor 
basin, and may be regarded as a projecting spur from the 
Bird Island Shoal. In consequence of a report to the Board by 
the harbor master, Mr. F. C. Cates, concerning the improper 
dumping in the channel of dredged material from the Upper 
Middle which was consigned to Hangman's Ledge, an order 
was issued by Gen. Thorn requiring the contractors commit- 
ting this damage to dredge an equal amount of material from 
snch part of the harbor as the Board should assign. Under 
this arrangement 552 cubic yards from the highest or shoal- 
est point of Anchorage Shoal, which lies nearly midway 
between the South Boston flats and Bird Island, has been 
removed. This work, however, has but slightly reduced, and 
only affected a small portion of the shoal, which still remains 
one of the most serious encumbrances to the harbor. 

In his able report to his department, Gen. Thom makes the 
following mention of this shoal. 

Anchorage Shoal (next above the Upper Middle) is now 
the only remaining obstacle to the free passage of ocean 
steamers and other deep-draught vessels from the ocean up 
to the inner harbor of Boston, in all stages of the tide. A 
recent survey of this shoal shows that it has a very irregular 
shape, and extends into the main channel chiefly from the 
East Boston and Bird Island flats, having on its shoalest part 
but loi feet of water at mean low tide, or about 25 feet at 
ordinary high water ; that the greatest depth that can be car- 
ried over its southern part is 22 feet at mean low water for 
a width of about 350 feet, or 21 feet for a width of 500 feet. 
To open the channel to a depth of 23 feet at mean low 
water for a width of 900 feet, the least width that is ade- 
quate for this part of the channel, would require about 85,000 
cubic yards of dredging over an area of about 80,000 square 
yards of shoal. Gen. Thom calls the attention of his depart- 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 







ment to the propriety and consistency of having this work 
done by the General Government in furtherance and comple- 
tion of the work now so nearly accomplished for the perma- 
nent improvement of our harbor. 

Man-of-War Shoal. 
Connected with the subjects of harbor improvement which 
the Board has contemplated, the removal of Man-of-War 
Shoal has received special consideration. As stated in their 
tenth report, the execution of this important work was 
deemed appropriate to the General Government, and Con- 
gress was memorialized in regard to it; a copy of the memo- 
rial being appended to that report. The subject was referred 
by Congress to the Engineer Department, and by it to Gen. 
Thorn, who has ordered a survey of the shoal, and estimated 
the amount of material to be removed at 65,000 cubic yards. 
Gen. Thorn recommends and includes this in his general esti- 
mate for the works of harbor and coast improvements under 
his charge, and' expresses confidence in the successful issue of 
the project. 

The improvements made under the immediate supervision 
of the Board in using the income of the compensation fund 
in dredging have given unobstructed access to three of the 
largest and most important docks on the East Boston front- 
age to the largest European steamers which visit the port of 
Boston. The Cunard Steamship Company, at their own ex- 
pense, have added to the improvement of the entrance to the 
dock next eastward from their main pier. It is expected that 
the entrance to Dock No. 6 of the Grand Junction Wharf 
property will be deepened by the Boston and Albany Rail- 
road Company. 

Prison Point Bay. 

Prison Point Bay and Miller's River, between which there 
is no natural division, form together a tributary tidal basin 
of the Charles River. This basin lies partly in Cambridge, 
and partly in the Charlestown district of the city of Boston. 
It was regarded by the United States Commissioners as an 
important tidal reservoir, supplying its full proportion of the 
scouring power which maintains the main channels of the 
harbor below ; and the Board, after repeated inquiries into its 

2 



10 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



physical condition, as questions connected with its proposed 
reclamation have arisen, has been unable to discover any 
ground of doubt as to the value originally assigned to it, 
except so far as encroachments have diminished its tidal 
volume. 

]f we distinguish as Prison Point Bay that portion of the 
basin which lies north-easterly of the Fitchburg Railroad, we 
find upon the United States Commissioners' chart of 1861, 
that its area was 68.8 acres at ordinary high tides. 

Under the fourth section of the Act of 1866, establishing 
the Board of Harbor Commissioners, all authorized structures 
in tide-water of Boston upper harbor upon which work had 
begun, prior to the passage of this Act, are exempt from 
assessment for tide-water displaced. From the most careful 
inquiry, the Board has ascertained that at the date of the Act 
aforesaid, there remained in Prison Point Bay an area of 64.8 
acres over which the Commonwealth retained jurisdiction, at 
least to the extent of forbidding encroachment without its 
authority, and requiring compensation for tide-water displaced. 

Under an Act of 1867 (chap. 335) the Eastern and Fitch- 
burg railroads jointly sought and obtained from this Board 
a license to construct certain sea-walls that excluded tide- 
water not only from their sites, but also from a triangular 
space of flats lying between said roads. The total area from 
which tide-water may be excluded under this Act and license, 
is about 14.5 acres, of which only about 0.6 acres have 
actually suffered this loss by occupation. Both the original 
Act and the license granted from the Board, in this case, 
contained an explicit provision for tidal compensation. 

By an Act of Legislature (chap. 253, 1868) the city of 
Charlestown was authorized to fill so much of Prison Point 
Bay as lay northward of the Boston and Maine Railroad, pro- 
vided that compensation should be made for all displacements 
of tide-water. By this Act a territory of about 38* acres 
was dedicated to reclamation; and it was upon this territory 
that the Eastern Railroad, by subsequent grant, was author- 
ized to locate roadways, buildings, &c. 

The only works undertaken by the city of Charlestown 
under this Act, and within the purview of the compensation 
clause, was the construction of Canal Street, and the filling 
of certain parcels of fiats lying between it and the original 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



11 



shore line of Charlestown Neck. The Board made an assess- 
ment for compensation, at the rate of 37 J cents per cubic 
yard of tide-water displaced, and collected the same of the 
city of Boston after the annexation of Charlestown. 

In the course of the construction of Canal Street, as 
aforesaid, certain other parties entered upon lots adjacent to 
this street on either side, and proceeded to reclaim lands 
without authority. These parties were notified by the Board 
to desist till they should procure proper licenses. 

By Act of 1873 (chap. 360) and of 1874 (chap. 45) the 
Eastern Railroad Company was authorized to cross Prison 
Point Bay, by one or more tracks, and to fill certain fiats 
within the limits of the territory covered by the previous 
grant (1868) to the city of Charlestown. Upon application 
from the said Eastern Railroad, a license was issued author- 
izing the construction of a bridge on piles. This license, 
which is numbered 207, bears date of April 8, 1874, and 
contains the usual requirement of compensation for tide- 
water displaced ; and on the 2d of August, 1876, an assess- 
ment of $118 was made upon the company by virtue 
of said requirement. 

In the construction of the bridge, for which alone the 
Eastern Railroad Company had asked authority, the privi- 
leges of the license just mentioned were exhausted; but 
the Board ascertained that this company was engaged in 
filling fiats adjacent to the newly constructed Canal Street, 
for which no license had been granted. At a meeting of the 
Board held Oct. 20, 1875, it was voted that the aforesaid 
Railroad Company, and all other parties filling without 
license in Prison Point Bay, should be notified to show 
cause why legal proceedings should not be instituted against 
them; and at a meeting of the Board held Nov. 4, 1875, 
the private parties referred to presented their cases. 

On Nov. 11, 1875, the Board voted that plans be required 
and compensation charged, for all filling outside of Canal 
Street; but reserved its decision upon cases of filling within 
the location of said street, for reasons fully stated in the 
Tenth Annual Report. 

By vote of Board dated Nov. 24, 1875, the Attorney-Gen- 
eral was requested to file an information against the East- 
ern Railroad Company, for unlawfully filling flats in Prison 



12 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



Point Bay, in violation of law ; and this information was 
brought Dec. 1, 1875. Under date of May 8, 1877, the 
aforesaid Eastern Railroad Company, through its president, 
Mr. A. P. Rockwell, gave written notice of its intentions 
regarding the occupation of territory in Prison Point Bay, 
and subsequently presented duplicate plans. 

The Board, having considered the matter maturely, accept- 
ed these documents as a proper compliance with the law, 
and issued a formal license, No. 391, dated Sept. 5, 1877, 
which will be found, without its accompanying plan, under 
the list of " Office Work " in this Report. By this license, 
the Railroad Company was authorized to fill about 18 acres of 
flats, and all under the expressed obligation to make compen- 
sation for tide-water displaced. Thus far only three acres 
have, however, been reclaimed under this license. 

Of the original bay which comprised 64.8 acres subject to 
the fourth section of the law of 1866 establishing the Board 
of Harbor Commissioners, 12.8 acres have been filled: there 
now remain unfilled, 52 acres. Of the 12.8 acres filled, 7.3 
acres have been reclaimed without authority; and of the 52 
acres still unfilled, 29 acres have been licensed subject to 
compensation for tide-water displaced : so that there remain 
only 23 acres of tide-water over which the Commonwealth 
retains any jurisdiction in the interest of harbor preservation. 

The 23 acres referred to above as unfilled and unlicensed, 
lie in three parcels, as follows, — 

Four-tenths of an acre between Canal Street and land 
belonging to the Eastern Railroad Company. 

Eleven and one-tenth acres between the Eastern Railroad 
freight bridge and the Boston and Maine Railroad. 

Eleven and five-tenths acres between Boston and Maine 
and Eastern Railroads. 

Neither of the parcels adjacent to the railroads is likely 
to be wanted for any other purposes than those connected 
with the business of- these roads. 

The private parties to whom we have referred as illegally 
reclaiming lands in Prison Point Bay outside of Canal Street 
are understood to claim exemption from the obligation to 
make compensation for tide-water displaced on the ground 
that their filling has been done in compliance with an order 
from the Boston Board of Health, and that said order has 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



13 



justified all the filling they have done. The Board assumes, 
however, that no local board of health has jurisdiction to 
order the filling of tide-water, and that no order from such 
board could afford any protection to private parties making 
such filling, but that such filling should be treated precisely 
as if done without any order. 

The following is a tabular statement of the data which 
have formed the subject of the preceding remarks : 



14 



HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



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1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



15 



Charles River Basin. 

By a Resolve of the last Legislature, chapter 37, the Board 
was required to investigate and report concerning the harbor 
line on the northerly side of Charles River, and the expedi- 
ency of changing it. In pursuance of this resolution, notice 
was given as required by the statute of 1866 ; and, alter full 
investigation and hearing of parties interested in this portion 
of the harbor frontage, the Board submitsj;he following : — 

The harbor-line previously modified from the old line of 
1847, and re-established by the Legislature of 1873, was 
based upon the reservoir capacity of the basin, the line pre- 
scribed being the one deemed most practically useful for oc- 
cupation, w hile preserving the tidal volume of the basin by 
a balance of quantities between fillings and excavations. In 
the study and solution of this problem the basin between 
West Boston and Brookline bridges was considered as a unit, 
the irregularities of outline being so generalized, or equated, 
as to give a symmetrical form to this water-area as a perma- 
nent inner basin of the harbor. This scheme contemplated 
as much advantage to individual littoral proprietors in the 
betterment of land and water frontage, as in physical and 
commercial advantage to the harbor and the public. 

It has been claimed by certain shore proprietors that their 
rights have been affected in cutting off certain salient points 
which are or were upland, by this line of 1873. 

A line which would avoid encroachment upon the salient 
points in the shore line, and yet retain the tidal prism of 
the basin, would be so irregular and unsuited to utilization 
of either land or water frontage, that the Board does not 
deem it a desirable project. 

The alternative scheme which the Board su££rests, and 
which is shown on the accompanying plan, is a straight line 
between two of the initial points in the harbor-line of 1847, 
one being at the westerly abutment on the southerly side of 
West Boston Bridge, which at this point joins and coincides 
with the established line running northerly to Cragie Bridge ; 
and the other being at the point "on the northerly shore of 
Charles River near its mouth." From this coincident point 
with the harbor line of 1847, which here terminates, the line 
is continued to a point on the easterly side of Brookline 



16 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



Bridge, 110 feet southerly from the present solid abutment of 
the bridge on this side of the river. The Board has deter- 
mined upon this extension of the line and this terminal point 
as being practically in harmony with a scheme of harbor 
lines for the upper reaches of the river, should such in fu- 
ture be required, and also because the claims of all shore 
proprietors for encroachment upon what is asserted to be for- 
mer upland are by this modification adjusted and satisfied. 
This continued portion of the line leaves a channel width at 
Brookline Bridge between it and the harbor line on the south- 
erly side of the river of 550 feet. The width between the 
solid abutments of the River-Street Bridge, next above, is 350 
feet; and the width between the harbor lines at the " mouth 
of the river " before named, below Brookline Bridge, is 700 
feet. 

In presenting the scheme devised and adopted in 1873, for 
the reconsideration of the Legislature, the Board would 
quote from the argument of Professor Whiting in his report 
of that year. 

" As a fundamental principle in the study of this subject, 
regard has been had to the maintenance of the tidal prism of 
the basin as the basis of any scheme of harbor lines to be 
devised. It would be contrary to the established and 
acknowledged physical relations of the upper reservoirs to 
the lower channels of the harbor, and in direct opposition to 
the judgment of the United States Advisory Council to 
deviate from this rule or law of tidal power. The occupa- 
tion of the tidal prism by the existing flats of the basin 
amounts to about 1,460,000 cubic yards. It remains, there- 
fore, to make such adjustment of harbor lines as will leave 
this amount of tidal reservoir capacity intact. This can be 
done by transposing the shallow water-spaces within, and the 
flats without these lines ; in other words, to determine such 
harbor lines as will preserve the present tidal prism of the 
basin, by making the excavations outside of them to the 
plane of low water, equal to, or balance, the fillings within 
the same lines to the plane of high water. By the lines pre- 
sented the amount of gain by excavation outside of them 
will about equal the amount of the present tidal prism of the 
basin, 1,460,000 cubic yards. The amount of loss by filling 
within these lines will equal about 1,455,000 cubic yards, 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



17 



leaving a slight contingent balance in favor of the scheme. 
In the adjustment of the lines, regard has been had to nat- 
ural and harmonious lines of flowage as well as those practical 
and useful for utilization, both in land and water improve- 
ments." 

Re-survey of the Wharf-Lines of Boston Upper 

Harbor. 

By chapter 91 of the " Acts and Resolves of Massachu- 
setts, 1877," a sum not exceeding $5,000, was appropriated to 
be expended under the direction of the Harbor Commission- 
ers, for the re-survey of the wharf-lines of Boston Upper 
Harbor. 

At the outset, the Board had relied upon making an 
arrangement with the superintendent of the Coast Survey, 
by which the survey might be executed by officers of that 
service, specially detailed by him ; but in August, apprehend- 
ing that this arrangement could not be made, the execution 
of the triangulation was assigned to Mr. W. E. McClintock. 
However, during the following month, the co-operation of 
the Coast Survey was obtained ; and the work, therefore, as 
originally planned, was transferred to its representative 
officers, Messrs. Professor Henry L. Whiting and Francis 
Blake, jun., who were specially assigned to duty by the Hon. 
C. P. Patterson, Superintendent United States Coast Survey, 
the former to supervise the topographical survey, and the 
latter to execute the triangulation. Mr. McClintock was 
retained as chief-assistant. 

The triangulation was begun late in September, and, having 
been diligently prosecuted during the last three months, is 
now nearly finished. Twenty-seven signals have been 
erected, twenty-one stations occupied, and nearly 5,000 angu- 
lar measurements made. The principal stations occupied 
have been marked by substantial granite monuments, which 
will greatly facilitate the reference of any future changes in 
the harbor lines to the survey. During its progress, much 
interest has been shown in the work by engineers in our 
vicinity. Applications have been made for the geodetic es- 
tablishment of points to be used in local surveys ; and these 
requests have been complied with so far as could be done 
without entailing additional expense upon the survey. 

3 



18 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



Mr. Blake, assisted by Mr. McClintock, is now engaged in 
computing the field observations, and will, in a few weeks, 
present a full report of the work, together with its records, 
computations, and final results. 

The scheme for the topographical survey has already been 
perfected, and all preliminary arrangements have been made, 
so that the field-work will be pushed, to as speedy a comple- 
tion as the weather may allow. 

The hydrography is being executed under the direction of 
Mr. D. Koppmann, Engineer of the Board, assisted by Mr. 
Wm. T. Blunt. From August to November, inclusive, a 
party was engaged in making careful soundings in and 
around the docks from Dover Street Bridge to Grand Junc- 
tion Wharves, including the frontage of the city proper, 
Charlestown, and East Boston. As soon as the weather may 
permit, these soundings will be extended so as to include the 
entire frontage embraced by the topographical survey. 

Compensation for Tide- Water Displaced. 

By an order of the Legislature of 1877, the Harbor Com- 
missioners were directed to consider and report to the present 
Legislature " whether any change, and what, is necessary in 
the law relating to compensation for tide-water displaced." 
The subject of compensation for tide-water displaced is famil- 
iar to all who have made the preservation and improvement 
of the harbors of the Commonwealth a study, but may be less 
so to those who have given these matters only general atten- 
tion ; and it may be useful to recur to the principles upon 
which the legislation in relation to it rests, in connection 
with an examination to determine whether any modification 
of such legislation is required. The value of tide-water rests 
upon the principle that the size of the channel, i t e., the area of 
its cross section, depends, in alluvial bottoms, upon the service 
that such channel perforins as an aqueduct ; that the tidal 
inflow and outflow by its scouring action maintains the chan- 
nel, so that any diminution of a tidal basin diminishes the 
force which preserves the channel below. Eminent engineers, 
designated by the United States authorities to study this 
problem, advised, many years since, that encroachments upon 
the tidal area of the upper harbor of Boston or its interior 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. S3. 19 

basins should be permitted only upon condition that an equal 
volume of tide-water should be provided by excavation else- 
where. This was termed compensation in kind. 

Chapter 149 of the Acts of 1866, by which the Harbor 
Commission was established, contains in its fourth section the 
following provision : — 

" The amount of tide- water displaced by any structure or filling of 
flats hereafter authorized as aforesaid shall be ascertained by the Harbor 
Commissioners; and they shall in all cases affecting the harbor of Boston, 
and in cases affecting other harbors if they shall deem it necessary, 
require the parties making the same to make compensation therefor, 
either by excavating in some part of the same harbor where the work is 
performed, including tide-water channels between high and low water 
mark, to such an extent as to create a basin for as much tide-water as 
may be displaced by such structure or filling of flats ; and the same shall 
be done under their direction : or by paying, in lieu of performing the 
work of dredging to restore the displaced tide-water, a sufficient sum of 
money for making such compensation, or by improving the harbor in any 
other mode to the satisfaction of the Commissioners; and all money thus 
paid shall be paid into the treasury of the Commonwealth, and be re- 
served as a compensation fund for the harbor where such compensation 
is to be made, and used for that purpose under the direction of the Com- 
missioners : provided, that all dredging made for purposes of such com- 
pensation for displaced tide- water shall in no wise injure any existing 
channels, but, as far as practicable, shall be directed towards their per- 
manent improvement." 

This provision constitutes the present legislation upon the 
subject of tide-water displaced. It leaves to the discretion of 
the Harbor Commissioners whether, in any particular case of 
encroachment, the best economy would lie in actual replace- 
ment of tide-water by excavation elsewhere, or in the execution 
of some equivalent improvement in the harbor. It is clear 
that, in many portions of the channel-ways, it is not the area 
of the section that is insufficient, but only one of the elements 
for computing this area, — width, or depth ; so that not all the 
change induced by the loss of tide-water requires to be offset, 
but only that which is injurious to navigation. Such cases 
are so nearty the rule in Boston Harbor, that the plan of 
creating a fund, by the expenditure of which a greater econ- 
omy could be effected in compensation, has been followed, 
except where those having grants have elected to make com- 
pensation by dredging. Material taken from the harbor has 
been recently in demand for filling, because cheaper than 



20 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 

earth brought from the country ; and this has induced some 
parties to prefer making compensation in work rather than 
money. 

It is obvious that the repair of the injury inflicted by 
encroachment is all that was originally contemplated in the 
requirement of compensation in kind, and all that would be 
accomplished by the payment of money, if expended by the 
State for no other purpose than to make such compensation 
in kind ; but it is in the highest degree equitable that those 
to whom the public grants favors in any harbor, and who are 
in the long run those who derive most benefit from the harbor, 
should contribute for its improvement, as well as its preser- 
vation, in proportion to the favors they receive. Certainly 
none could complain of this so long as the limit of the require- 
ment is the cost to the public of restoring to the harbor what 
is taken from it. When other harbor improvements are 
made in lieu of compensation in kind, permanent gain to the 
harbor is often secured without increase of the burden to 
those of whom compensation is required ; and when the money 
equivalent of compensation in kind is paid, and the fund thus 
derived is applied directly to the removal of shoaling injurious 
to navigation, a gain is made in like manner by the greater 
economy of such application. 

The statute makes compensation in some form imperative 
in the harbor of Boston; but with the other harbors of the 
Commonwealth it is discretionary with the Harbor Commis- 
sioners. It is plain that the encroachments upon tidal areas 
will be greatest where business centres, and land becomes in 
consequence greatly enhanced in value ; and thus the injury, 
which in many other harbors is inappreciable, becomes serious. 
It is also apparent that the value of a harbor at such business 
centre is much greater, and that even slight variations in the 
depth of approaches may determine the admission or exclu- 
sion of entire classes of vessels of vital importance to busi- 
ness. The large expenditure of the General Government for 
the preservation and improvement of the harbor of Boston 
has increased the obligation of the Commonwealth to exer- 
cise its control of tide-waters there in such a manner as in no 
case to hinder these objects, and, so far as may be, to aid 
them ; and the policy by which the State has sought to sup- 
plement the work of the United States has been of great 
service in securing the liberal action of the latter. 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



21 



These considerations, and others which might he suggested, 
fully justify the discrimination w hich the present statute 
makes between the harbor of Boston and the other harbors 
of the Commonwealth ; but they also suggest a reason for 
modifying the rigidity of the present statute in cases where 
money is accepted in lieu of compensation in kind. It is as- 
sumed that the present statute requires such money payment 
to be sufficient to enable the Commonwealth to restore the 
tidal volume. In many instances this would be prohibitive of 
the utilization of the harbor, and thus defeat the only object 
in its protection or improvement. It is, however, very desira- 
ble that provision should be made in all important harbors to 
repair the mischief of gradual encroachments. 

It is fair to presume that most of the harbors of the Com- 
monwealth will have greater value in the future than they 
now have ; and the policy of the State in regard to them 
should be that which will be wise for the long period. A 
fund such as the present use of the harbor is sufficient to 
create may seem insignificant; but, if left to accumulate, 
such fund may become very considerable by the time a 
greater use of the harbor should justify expenditure from it. 
The Board would recommend that the amount required for 
compensation, when paid in money, be limited to a maximum 
of thirty-seven and a-half cents per cubic yard of tide-water 
displaced, which is the price heretofore charged, but that 
power be given to accept less rates. There should be power 
to accept different rates, not only for different harbors, but 
for different parts of the same harbor. The occasion for dis- 
crimination on both grounds, the injury inflicted, and the 
value of privilege granted, is often as striking in different 
parts of the same harbor as in different harbors. 

When the displacement of tide-water is permitted for pub- 
lic purposes, it would seem just that the payment should 
be the minimum sufficient to repair the injury occasioned. 
The displacement from interior reservoirs should, upon the 
principle established, be followed by a corresponding dimi- 
nution of the channels below, all the way to the sea; but 
practically, the only injury done is at the points where the 
widths or depths are now equal to, or less than, the require- 
ments of navigation, so that the channel dredging to be clone 
artificially is less than that which nature would execute with 



22 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



the force which is abstracted. Although the practical repair of 
damages occasioned by encroachment involves, as a rule, less 
work than the restoration of tide-water displaced, the Board 
are not prepared to admit that the cost of such repair, and 
permanent maintenance of channel depths, would in all 
cases be less. No principle upon which discrimination can 
be made between different harbors, or between different parts 
of the same harbor, could be applied with absolute accuracy ; 
but it is believed that a closer approximation to an equitable 
assessment could be made by discrimination than by a rigid 
rule of uniformity. 

The existing statute permits expenditure from the compen- 
sation fund, under the direction of the Harbor Commissioners, 
for compensation in kind, but does not contain authority for 
expenditure to repair injury by dredging otherwise ; and, in 
practice, special legislative authority has been obtained for 
every expenditure thus far made. The statute is defective, 
both in what it permits and what it does not permit. The 
injury to harbors by the reduction of tidal volume is perma- 
nent ; and the provision for compensatory repairs should be 
of a permanent character. Expenditure from the principal 
of the fund for any form of compensation should not be 
permitted except upon an exigency to be met by special 
action of the Legislature ; but there should be authority in 
the Harbor Commission to expend the income of the fund 
for compensatory improvements as well as for compensation 
in kind. 

Bass and Gurnet Rocks. 

In pursuance of the Resolution passed by the last Legisla- 
ture in relation to a contemplated removal of Bass and 
Gurnet Rocks, off Gurnet Head, at the entrance of Plymouth 
and Duxbury Harbors, the Board have investigated the sub- 
ject referred to them, have visited the ground in question, and 
had a survey made by their engineers of the locality, so far 
as to determine the position of the respective rocks and the 
depth of water upon and around them. Gurnet Rock is situ- 
ated about 1,400 feet from the head, and bears about S.S.E. 
from the lights ; it has four (4) feet of water upon it at 
mean low tide, and is surrounded by a depth of from 15|- to 
19 feet of water. Bass Rock is situated about 1,550 feet 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



23 



from Gurnet Head, and bears about S. \ W. from the lights ; 
it has three and one-half (3|) feet of water upon it at mean 
low tide, and is surrounded by a depth of 15| to 17i feet of 
water. The soundings of the U. S. Coast Survey made in 
1853, agree substantially with those taken by our engineers 
in November last, excepting, that immediately around and 
outside of each rock their soundings give more water than 
those of the Coast Survey, indicating that a slight deepening 
has taken place along the outer margin of the shoal off Gurnet 
Head during the last twenty-five years. The depth of water 
upon the rocks themselves agrees exactly with that given by 
the Coast Survey. Gurnet and Bass Rocks are well and long 
known objects at the entrance of Plymouth Harbor, and are 
named and marked by buoys on the charts of the Coast Sur- 
vey of 1857, where they are shown to be situated near, but 
within the irregular outline of the shoal ground off Gurnet 
Head, as indicated by the conventional signs of the survey, 
each rock being upon a salient point of the shoal with an- 
other point of shoal between them, having but 10 feet of 
water; which projects into the channel beyond the range-line 
from rock to rock. The width of channel outside of the 
three-fathom lines of the Coast Survey between the buoy at 
Gurnet Rock and that on the easterly point of Brown's Island 
is 3,700 feet ; between Bass Rock buoy and Brown's Island, 
1,800 feet. Opposite the second buoy (No. 3) on Brown's 
Island, the channel is 1,500 feet, continuing at this, and a 
slightly greater width, for about \\ miles toward the Cow- 
yard anchorage. 

The approaches to this channel are by the unobstructed 
open waters of Massachusetts Bay. The entrance off Gur- 
net Head, and the navigable room within it for a distance 
of about three miles to abreast of the point of Long Beach, 
are fairly favorable, and may be ranked as above the average 
in relation to the inner waters to which it leads. While 
Gurnet and Bass Rocks are dangerous objects, lying in a 
depth of water sufficient to allow a large-sized vessel to run 
upon them, their positions, as before stated, are not within 
the channel proper, but on the margin of the shoal ground 
forming its northern boundary. They would, therefore, be 
characterized as off-lying dangers pertaining to a rocky head- 
land which should not be approached within the certain 



24 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



limits indicated by charts and buoys, unless under the guid- 
ance of a pilot. The removal of these rocks would not 
materially improve or enlarge the channel, as the nature and 
outlines of the shoal upon which they are situated would not 
admit of setting the buoys, which define it, further back. 

From the data in its possession, and from the fact that 
other important works affecting the preservation of Plym- 
outh and Duxbury Harbors require aid from the General 
Government, the Board feels justified in construing the pur- 
port of the Resolution of the last Legislature as referring the 
application to Congress to their discretion, and to report it 
inexpedient, at this particular time, to apply to Congress for 
a special appropriation for the removal of Bass and Gurnet 
Rocks. 

Green Harbor River. 

The Board exercised its authority in relation to Green Har- 
bor River, in notifying and requiring the proprietors of its 
marshes, mentioned in section 4 of chapter 303 of the Acts of 
1871, to remove the shoaling and other obstructions from the 
channel of Green Harbor River and its approaches. The 
terms and conditions of this notice and requirement were 
recited in their eleventh report, pages 11, 12, 13. No action 
has been taken on the part of the marsh proprietors under 
this notice. 

By chapter 219 of the Acts of 1877 the Attorney-General was 
authorized and directed, upon the petition or request of the 
Harbor Commissioners, to bring, in the name and behalf of 
the Commonwealth, a bill in equity, or other proper process, to 
compel any and all parties liable under chapter 303 of the Acts 
of 1871 so to do, to remove the shoaling or other obstructions 
in the channel in Green Harbor River. The Board, acting 
under this statute, have made the requisite petition to the 
Attorney-General, and the respective rights and obligations of 
the parties will in due time be determined by the courts. 

The Board visited Green Harbor River in October last, 
and examined the condition of the channel and inner water 
spaces. The comparison made, without actual measurements, 
between their condition at that time and when the survey 
of the Board was made in 1876, shows changes in accordance 
with the predictions of Professor Mitchell, and the published 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



25 



comments of the Board in regard to the possible effect of the 
dike, before that structure was built. 

It is evident that sands have been, and are, encroaching 
upon the inner water-spaces ; and the crest of the bar seems 
to be rising, and working inward. A small channel, similar 
to that existing when the last survey was made, still finds its 
way through the shoals and bar to the sea. 

Government Work of the United States Engineers 
in Boston Harbor, and on the Eastern Coast 
of Massachusetts. 

By. the courtesy of Gen. George Thorn, the Board has 
received a manuscript copy of his report upon the works 
under his charge in Massachusetts, up to Dec. 31, 1877. 

The following is a brief summary of this important ser- 
vice, which has been so ably rendered by both Gen. Thorn 
and Gen. Warren. Their reports in full detail upon their 
respective works in Massachusetts will be found in the Ap- 
pendix. 

Boston Harbor. 

The additional work projected for the improvement of this 
harbor during the season of 1877, under the appropriation 
made therefor by Congress in the River and Harbor Act of 
Aug. 14, 1876, was as follows, viz. :— 

1. Widening, straightening, and deepening the Main Ship 
Channel at and near the south-west point of Lovell's 
Island, so as to have a depth of 23 feet at mean low- water 
(or about S2|- feet at mean high- water), for a width of not 
less than 600 feet, requiring about 30,000 cubic yards oi 
dredging. 

2. Breaking up and removing about 290 cubic yards of 
sunken ledge lying in the Main Ship Channel at the Upper 
Middle Bar, and near Kelly's Rock ; and 

3. The removal of numerous sunken rocks (bowlders and 
ledge) scattered over Nash's Rock Shoal, situated in the en- 
trance of Boston Harbor, so as to have a depth of not less 
than 21 feet throughout at mean low-water, giving an in- 
crease of about 6 feet over its shoalest parts. 

The dredging at and near the south-west point of Lovell's 

4 



26 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



Island was satisfactorily completed under contract, in Sep- 
tember last. This improvement, together with the dredging 
completed in 1875 at the south-east point of Lovell's Island, 
and that in 1876 at the west end of Great Brewster Spit, 
and at the Upper Middle Bar, finishes all the dredging hith- 
erto projected for the improvement of this harbor from its 
entrance up to Anchorage Shoal, giving a channel not less 
than 600 feet in width and 23 feet in depth at mean low 
water (or about 32 J feet at ordinary high water) except 
where obstructed by the sunken ledges recently discovered 
near Kelly's Rock, and in the Upper Middle Channel yet to 
be removed. 

A contract has been entered into for the breaking up and 
removal of the sunken ledge in the Upper Middle Channel 
(which was laid bare last season by dredging) containing 
81 J cubic yards of rock ; and also for the breaking up and 
removal of about 200 yards of the sunken ledge near Kelly's 
Rock. Operations under this contract were begun in June 
last, and portions of the ledge near Kelly's Rock have been 
removed to grade (23 feet at mean low water) ; but owing 
.to the very unfavorable weather for operations in so exposed 
a position, work has been suspended till next season. 

The work for the improvement of Nash's Rock Shoal was 
in progress from Sept. 4 to Nov. 8, during which time 
about 320 tons of large bowlders were removed by a sub- 
marine party, leaving only about 40 tons to be removed for 
the completion of the work next season. These operations 
have so far improved this shoal, that on its shoalest parts 
there is now a depth of 18} feet at mean low water, being 
an increase of over 3 feet. 

Allusion has already been made to Gen. Thorn's consider- 
ation of Man-of- War and Anchorage shoals. 

Merrimac River. 

Under Gen. Thorn's direction, the channel of this river has 
been greatly improved during the past season by the removal 
of dangerous sunken bowlders near Silby's Island. 

Provincetown Harbor. 

By the appropriation of $4,000, made by Congress in 1876, 
all the works that have been projected for the preservation 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT— No. 33. 27 

and improvement of the harbor have now been completed 
and are in excellent condition. 

Government Work of the United States Engineers 
on the Southern Coast of Massachusetts. 

By the courtesy of Gen. G. K. Warren, the Board has 
received a printed copy of his report upon the works under 
his charge in Massachusetts, up to July 2, 1877. 

Wareham Harbor. 

The improvement designed for this harbor consisted 
mainly in dredging the channel of approach to a depth of 9 
feet at mean low water; and in widening and straightening 
it. This has been completed during the past fiscal year, to 
an extent greater than was designed, owing to a reduction 
in the cost of dredging. With the unexpended balance, it 
is proposed to build sand-catchers upon Long Beach, to 
arrest the sand which drifts over the beach into the harbor. 

Nine feet at mean low water, or 12^ feet at mean high 
water, can now be carried by vessels up to the wharves ; and 
the width is nowhere less than 100 feet, gradually widen- 
ing from the wharves outward. 

New Bedford Harbor. 

No work was done here during the past fiscal year, for 
want of funds, as the appropriation of $10,000 in the River 
and Harbor Act, of Aug. 14, 1876, was not made available 
until April 30, 1877. 

A contract has been entered into for dredging, at so low 
a price that it is thought the projected channel of 200 feet 
width and 15 feet depth at mean low water can be com- 
pleted with the funds now available. 

Taunton River. 

During the fiscal year, 93 cubic yards of rocks were re- 
moved from " The Nook " and Peter's Point. An appropri- 
ation of $5,000 is needed to complete the channel of 60 feet 
width and 9 feet depth at mean high water. 



28 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



Fall River Harbor. 

No work was done here during the fiscal year, for want of 
funds. A contract has been made to continue the dredging 
with the appropriation of $10,000 of the Act of Aug. 14, 
1876, which, it is thought, will complete the improvement 
originally designed. This improvement is for the benefit of 
the commerce of the port, and probably nothing more is 
needed at present. 

The fall in prices has enabled the government to do the 
work at much lower rates than at first anticipated. 

The estimate was $45,000. The appropriations have 
amounted to $30,000. 

Dumping of Ashes and Cinders. 

Some annoyance has occurred from improper dumping of 
ashes and cinders from steamers in the upper harbor of 
Boston ; and serious injury to the harbor would follow if 
the practice were continued. An effort has been made to 
prevent it, by assigning a suitable place for such dumping, 
upon the flats at South Boston. Capt. Cates, the harbor- 
master, has co-operated cordially with the Board in these 
efforts; and his zeal and watchfulness have been attended 
with a good degree of success. 

Compensation Fund for Boston Harbor. 

The following amount represents the capital of the com- 
pensation fund for Boston Harbor, as accumulated up to 
Dec. 31, 1877 : $114,796.36. 

To cover works of improvement in the harbor desirable 
to be carried forward, the Board recommend the re-appro- 
priation of the unexpended balance of the appropriation 
authorized by chapter 119 of the Acts of 1876, together 
with the appropriation of the income from the compensation 
fund for the current year. 

Extent and Character of the Shore Line of Massa- 
chusetts. 

The inquiry following the order of the Legislature of 
1875, that the Harbor Commissioners should make an 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 29 



approximate statement of the location and amount of flats 
owned by the Commonwealth on its coast and harbors, 
led to a collection of data by Prof. H. L. Whiting, relat- 
ing to the extent and nature of the coast and harbors of 
the State, which the Board desire to incorporate in this 
Report. 

The geographical formation and position of Massachusetts 
are peculiar, and make one of the prominent capes on the 
Atlantic coast of the continent. At or near its most salient 
point, Cape Cod, and the off-lying islands of Nantucket and 
Martha's Vineyard, occurs a remarkable phenomenon in the 
variation of the tidal waves of the Atlantic Ocean, which 
here meet, with a greater inequality in time and magnitude 
than at any other point upon the coast. This difference is 
markedly illustrated by the fact that at Provincetown, 
where the northern wave has the main effect, the rise and 
fall of the tide is nine and a half feet ; while at Nantucket 
south shore, which is under the influence of the southern 
wave, the rise and fall of the tide is one and one-half feet. 
These points are but about sixty miles apart, with nothing 
between them to break the free undulations of the ocean. 
The difference in time between these two tidal waves in these 
sixty miles is greater than that occurring between Cape Cod 
and Greenland, or Nantucket and Florida. The difference in 
the temperature of the waters brought together by these 
tidal waves is also large. The mean result of a summer's ob- 
servations, made by Professor Mitchell of the Coast Survey, 
gives 52° of Fahrenheit in Massachusetts Bay, and 72° in 
Buzzard's Bay. These waters flow within eight miles of 
each other, on either side of the isthmus of Cape Cod. In 
these commingling tides are strong and complicated currents, 
which sweep among the shoals and rips that surround the 
Cape and its off-lying islands. The influences of the Gulf 
Stream, the differences of temperature, and other causes, 
probably take part in creating the fog which hangs so heavily 
over the land and water in this locality at certain seasons of 
the year. With these phenomena so seriously affecting 
the navigation, there passes around Cape Cod one of the 
largest fleets of the world, probably only second to that of 
the English Channel. Most fortunately for the safety of this 
fleet, nature has provided two important harbors of refuge ; 



30 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



one, Provincetown Harbor, at the northern borders of the 
dangerous ground, and the other, Vineyard Haven, near its 
southern or western limits. Besides these more frequented 
roadsteads, there are other valuable harbors in this section of 
the State, — Tarpaulin Cove, Wood's Holl, Edgartown Har- 
bor, Hyannis Breakwater, and Monomoy, each affording its 
peculiar shelter. Whatever forces may have originally formed 
the undulating ground of the Cape, and the islands to the 
southward, constant waste of their headlands and bluffs has 
been going on for many centuries; and the material abraded 
has gone to compose the shoals and rips which make the 
navigation of this portion of the New England coast so 
dangerous. As a consequence and necessity of these con- 
ditions, Massachusetts has a greater number of light -houses, 
light-ships, bell-boats, beacons, buoys, and fog and danger 
signals than any State of the Union in proportion to her 
territory. 

Nor is it her more salient cape and its surrounding dangers 
that give the only importance to the Massachusetts coast. 
Cape Ann, forming the northern arm and headland of Massa- 
chusetts Bay, is a rocky and dreaded point ; and here, too, 
nature has again provided one of the best shelters offered 
by New England shores, in the safe and accessible waters of 
Gloucester Harbor. 

In Boston Harbor, Massachusetts possesses one the finest 
sea-ports of the Atlantic coast ; in commercial importance 
ranking second in the list. No more appropriate comment 
can be made, in relation to this harbor, than to quote from 
one of the able reports to the Board by Professor Henry 
Mitchell, when the subject of the protection of its headlands 
was under consideration. Professor Mitchell says : — 

" The great merit of Boston Harbor lies in a happy conjunction of 
many favorable elements, among which we may distinguish as most im- 
portant, the facility and safety of its approaches, the ample width and 
depth of its entrances, and, above all, the shelter and tranquillity of its 
roadsteads. Perhaps there is no other harbor in the world where the 
inlets from the ocean are better adjusted to the amplitude of the interior 
basins, or whose excellent holding-grounds are so easy of access and yet 
so land-locked. I quote from the highest authority in my profession 
when I declare that the primary requisite for a good harbor is that ' the 
internal area should bear such a relation to the width ' of entrance as to pro- 
duce a sufficient degree of tranquillity.'' (Stevenson on Harbors.) And so 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



31 



difficult has it been to properly adjust this relation in artificial harbors 
that nearly one-half of all these works may be set down as failures, be- 
cause the entrances are either too narrow to admit vessels under trying 
circumstances, or the interior reservoirs too small to dissipate the waves 
that run in from the sea. In natural harbors, where the primary requi- 
site cited above is fulfilled, it often happens that the interior basin is so 
large, that the local effects of strong winds are sources of discomfort and 
even danger, as in San Francisco. Boston Harbor has no such draw- 
backs: her interior water-space is large, but is divided by chains of 
islands into basins which offer sufficient room for the heaviest ships to 
ride freely at anchor, and sufficient tranquillity for the frailest fishing- 
boat. 

" There are times when shelter from the wind is scarcely less important 
than smooth water. In the harbor of Cherburg the in-run of the waves 
is most effectually arrested by the great mole, and yet nearly every vessel 
that sought shelter in the gale of 1865 was driven on shore by the wind. 
Here, again, Boston Harbor claims peculiar advantages, — her moles are 
promontories and islands rising from twenty to one hundred feet above 
the sea." 

The protection, preservation, and improvement of harbors 
and of a coast so important, not only to her own interest, 
but to the world, are responsibilities which grow more mani- 
fest with each experience of the Board. Its attention has 
been called to almost every section of the coast, and its su- 
pervision given to works in every part of it. 

The sea-board of Massachusetts northward from Cape Ann 
is more like that of the Southern States than any part 
of New England. The immediate shore is a sand beach, 
with low dunes, behind which are the extensive marshes of 
Salisbury, Plum Island, Rowley, Ipswich, and Essex, with 
their numerous creeks and water-spaces. From and includ- 
Cape Ann, southward to Cohasset, the shores of Massachu-' 
setts Bay are rocky and irregular. Still further southward, 
along the coast of Scituate, Marshfield, Duxbury, Plymouth, 
Sandwich, and Barnstable, sand-beaches again characterize 
the shore, only broken by the cliffs of Scituate and the 
higher Manomet hills of Plymouth. Beyond Barnstable, the 
cliffs and drift hills of Cape Cod again change the character 
of the shore. The same formation marks the shores of Buz- 
zard's Bay, with the exception only of the slightly rocky 
district in the vicinity of New Bedford; the Elizabeth 
Islands, Martha's Vineyard, No-Man's Land and Nantucket, 
having a varied shore of beaches, bluffs, and headlands. 



32 HARBOR COMMISSIONER'S REPORT. [Jan. 



The following statistics show more fully the character of 
the coast, and give in detail the extent of shore-line as meas- 
ured by following its irregularities. The distances are stated 
in miles, — they are close approximations to the actual results 
of the Coast Survey, and include the shore line of navigable 
tide-water only : — 



From State line to entrance Newburyport Harbor, .... 4 

Newburyport Harbor and Merrimac River to Chain Bridge, . . 20 

Newburyport Harbor to entrance Plum Island Sound, ... 8 

Plum Island Sound, Parker River, Rowley River, &c, . 57 

Plum Island Sound to entrance Essex River, 3 

Essex and Ipswich Rivers, . . . . ' . . . .25 

Essex River to entrance Squam River, 2 

Squam River, 20 

Squam River around Cape Ann to Eastern Point, .... 20 

Gloucester Harbor, 8 

Gloucester Harbor to Manchester Harbor, ..... 7 
Salem Harbor, including Manchester, Beverly, Marblehead, and 

Islands, 50 

Marblehead to Point Shirley, including Swampscott and Lynn Har- 
bors, " 42 

Boston Harbor and tributaries from Point Shirley to Point Aller- 

ton, - . . . 15a 

Islands of Boston Harbor, . 46 

Point Allerton to entrance North River., including Cohasset and 

Scituate Harbors, • . .31 

North and South Rivers, . . . 16 

North River to entrance Green Harbor River, 4 

Green Harbor River, ......... 9 

Green Harbor River to Saquish Head, entrance Plymouth Harbor, . 9 

Duxbury Bay, Kingston Bay, and Plymouth Harbor, ... 42 

Plymouth Harbor to entrance Scusset Creek, 19 

Scusset Creek, 4 

Scusset Creek to entrance Sandwich Old Harbor, .... 2 

Sandwich Old Harbor and tributaries, . . . . . . 8 

Sandwich Old Harbor to entrance Scorton Harbor Creek, . . 3 

Scorton Harbor Creek, 7 

Scorton Harbor Creek to entrance Barnstable Harbor, ... 7 

Barnstable Harbor, . . . 37 

Barnstable Harbor to Horse Island, 26 

Wellfleet Harbor and tributaries, 30 

Wellfleet Harbor to Race Point, Cape Cod, 44 

Race Point to entrance Nausett Harbor, 30 

Nausett Harbor, Town Cove, &c, 30 

Nausett Harbor to entrance Pleasant Bay 6 

Pleasant Bay and branches, 34 

Pleasant Bay to Chatham Point, 4 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 33 

Monomoy Island and adjoining beaches, 24 

Old Stage Harbor and interior bays, 11 

Old Stage Harbor to entrance Bass River, including Herring River 16 

Bass River, . . . 8 

Bass River to Point Gammon, 5 

Point Gammon to Succonesset, including Lewis Bay, Osterville 

Landing, Cotuit Harbor, and Poponesset Bay, .... 42 

Succonesset to Nobska Point, . . ... . . . • 11 

Shore ponds between Succonesset and Nobska, .... 35 

Naushon and adjoining islands, 21 

Pasque Island, 5 

Nashawena Island, 9 

Cuttyhunk Island, 6 

Penikese Island, 2 

Martha's Vineyard, main shore, 62 

Katama Bay, 10 

Cape Pogue, Lagoon, Menemsha, and other ponds, ... 71 

No-Man's Land, . 4 

Nantucket Island, main shore, 50 

Nantucket Harbor, » . .18 

' Tuckernuck Island, . . . . . . . . 8 

Muskeget Island, 7 

Wood's Holl (Nobska Point) to Cohasset Narrows, including bays 

and rivers on east side of Buzzard's Bay, ..... 38 

Buttermilk Bay, 6 

Cohasset Narrows to Sconticut Point, including bays and livers 

on north side of Buzzard's Bay, 61 

Sconticut Point to Clark's Point (New Bedford Harbor), . . 19 

Clark's Point to State line, including bays and rivers, ... 38 

Mount Hope Bay and Taunton River, 45 



1,498 

The seaboard of Massachusetts is embraced within the 
parallels of 41° 15' north, which passes just tangent to 
the southern shore of Nantucket and No-Man's Land, and 
42° 52', which passes near the boundary-line with New 
Hampshire. The meridian of 69° 55' west passes just tan- 
gent to the eastern shore of Cape Cod, near Highland Light, 
and 71° 07' near the boundary with Rhode Island. These 
limits give a distance of 97' in latitude, and 72' in longi- 
tude — a total of 150 geographical miles, within which 
distance the bays, harbors, and tide-water rivers of the State 
make up the sum, as given above, of 1,498 miles. 

5 



34 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



Office and Field Work. 

The inquiries for information, and the interest manifested 
in relation to licenses issued and questions connected with 
them, often involving the defmement and adjustment of con- 
flicting rights and privileges, have induced the Board, in 
consideration of the value the information may be to citi- 
zens of the Commonwealth specially interested, and to the 
public in general, to publish more full statements than for- 
merly of the terms and conditions of the licenses granted, 
with a description of the nature and extent of the plans ap- 
proved. 

The usual examinations and surveys have been made in 
all localities where the supervision of the Board required 
them. In addition to this duty, the work connected with 
the re-survey of Boston Inner Harbor, which has been in 
progress during the last season, has called for the constant 
occupation of the engineers in the field and office. 

The following statistics show the details of the work re- 
ferred to. 

Plans approved by the Board of Harbor Commissioners dur- 
ing the Year 1871, for the Erection of Structures in or over 
Tide-water, and Licenses granted for such Structures. • 

354. George H. Howe, for pile-wharf in Chatham Harbor. Beginning 
at a point on the southerly side of the bridge across Mitchell's River, dis- 
tant twenty (20) feet easterly from the easterly side of the draw in said 
bridge, and running southerly at an angle of 74£° with said bridge, a 
distance of seventy-five (75) feet, to a point which is in the alignment 
of the easterly side of said draw; thence easterly, in a direction parallel 
to said bridge, to the upland or high-water mark. Approved Feb. 21, 
1877. 

355. John E. Somes, for extension of wharf on piles in Gloucester 
Harbor. Beginning at the south-westerly corner of the easterly wharf of 
John E. Somes, and running southerly in line with the westerly line of the 
present wharf extended, a distance of thirty-nine (39) feet; thence running 
southerly again a little more westerly, a distance of ninety-four (94) feet, 
to a point distant thirty-one (31) feet easterly from the south-easterly 
corner of the westerly wharf of John E. Somes; thence running easterly, 
towards the south-westerly corner of the wharf of David G. Allen, a 
distance of twenty (20) feet; thence running northerly, a distance of one 
hundred and forty-five (145) feet, to the south-easterly corner of the east- 
terly wharf of John E. Somes. Approved Feb. 28, 1877. 

356. Eastern Railroad Company, for additional piles under its bridge 



1878.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



35 



over Charles River. Seven (7) piles in each of the forty-seven (47) old 
rows from the Prison Point Draw southerly. Approved March 14, 1877. 

357. Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company, for solid filling near East 
Gardner Street, Salem Harbor. Beginning at a point on the high-water 
mark, at the northerly boundary-line of the flats of the said Company, 
and running easterly along said boundary-line a distance of three hun- 
dred and ninety-two (392) feet; thence southerly, parallel to the westerly 
line of Derby Wharf, and distant two hundred and fifty (250) feet 
therefrom, to the southerly boundary-line of said Company's flats; thence 
westerly, along said southerly boundary-line, to the high- water mark. 
Approved March 14, 1877. 

358. T. A. JSTewhall, to dredge a channel in Lynn Harbor. Channel 
to extend due south from the westerly side of his wharf, and to be fifty 
(50) feet in width. Approved March 21, 1877. 

359. Boston and Hingham Steamboat Company, for extension of 
wharf on piles in the town of Hull. Beginning at the north-westerly 
corner of the present wharf of said Company, and running southerly at 
right angles to the northerly line of the present wharf, a distance of 
fifty-nine (59) feet; thence southerly again, 15° more easterly, a distance 
of sixty-four (64) feet; thence easterly, parallel to the southerly line of 
the present wharf, a distance of thirty-five (35) feet; thence northerly, at 
right angles to the last-named line, a distance of sixty-eight (68) feet; 
thence northerly again, 44° more easterly, a distance of thirty-one (31) 
feet; thence northerly again, parallel to the easterly line of the present 
wharf, a distance of five (5) feet; thence easterly, parallel to the south- 
erly line of the present wharf, and distant seven (7) feet southerly there- 
from, to the upland or high-water mark. Approved April 4, 1877. 

360. Boston Land Company, for extension of Atlantic Avenue across 
Belle Isle Inlet by solid filling, in Boston and Revere. Street to be built 
fifty (50) feet wide on the surface, sloping thence on each side according 
to the natural slope of the material; and in building said street said Com- 
pany may use material excavated from the marsh on each side of said 
inlet, within the lines of a proposed ditch shown on plan. A culvert 
shall be built of good, substantial materials, in a strong and workmanlike 
manner. Approved April 11, 1877. 

361. Old Colony Railroad Company, for connecting the northerly 
draw-pier of its bridge over Fort Point Channel with the northerly draw- 
pier of the Federal-street Bridge in Boston. The connection shall be 
made by driving piles in bents or sections of three piles each, which sec- 
tions shall be placed eight (8) feet apart in the line between said piers. 
The piles shall be capped and braced, and planked on top, and sheathed 
on the southerly side. The structure, when completed, shall have a width 
not exceeding eight (8) feet on top throughout. Approved April 18, 
1877. 

362. Samuel Knowles, for pile-wharf in Provincetown Harbor. Be- 
ginning at a point on the high- water mark in front of his upland, distant 
eighty-five (85) feet north-easterly from the wharf of S. Mckerson, and 
running south-easterly in a straight line, which line passes the south- 
easterly corner of Nickerson's Wharf, a distance of eighty (80) feet 



36 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



north-easterly therefrom, a distance of two hundred (200) feet; thence 
running easterly, at right angles to the last-named line, a distance of 
fifty (50) feet; thence northerly, at right angles to the last-named line, to 
the upland or high-water mark. Approved May 2, 1877. 

363. Jonathan Cook, for pile-wharf near Long Point, Provincetown 
Harbor. Beginning at a point on the high-water mark, distant four 
hundred and fifty (450) feet south-westerly from the north-westerly cor- 
ner of the fort on Long Point, marked A on plan, and running north- 
westerly at right angles to the general trend of the shore, a distance of 
seven hundred (700) feet, with a uniform width of thirty (30) feet 
throughout. For the purpose of strengthening the wharf at the outer 
end, crib-work filled with stone may be substituted for piling. Approved 
May 2, 1877. 

364. Jonathan Cook, for pile-wharf in Provincetown Harbor. Begin- 
ning at a point on the high-water mark, distant about one hundred and 
three (103) feet more or less westerly from the westerly side of the 
wharf of H. & S. Cook & Co., which point is also in the westerly 
boundary-line of the premises of said Jonathan Cook, and running 
southerly parallel to the wharf of Alfred Cook, a distance of two hun- 
dred (200) feet; thence easterly, at right angles to the last-named line, a 
distance of thirty-five (35) feet; thence northerly, at right angles to the 
last-named line, to the upland or high-water mark. Approved May 2, 
1877. 

365. Henry Lyon, for covering with a pile structure the upper portion 
of . the westerly dock of Swett's Wharf, Charlestown District, Boston. 
Beginning at the north-easterly corner of the present westerly dock, and 
running southerly along the easterly line of said dock, a distance of 
fifty-six (56) feet; thence westerly across said dock to the westerly line 
thereof, at a point distant fifty-six (58) feet southerly from the north- 
westerly corner of said dock; thence northerly along the westerly line 
of said dock, a distance of fifty-six (56) feet, to the north-westerly corner 
of said dock. Approved May 2, 1877. 

366. S. A. Holt and the Boston and Lowell Railroad Corporation, for 
filling a portion of their dock in East Cambridge. Beginning at a point 
on the south-easterly line of the wharf of S. A. Holt, distant sixty-nine 
and one-half (68^) feet north-easterly from the south-westerly corner 
thereof, and running south-easterly in a straight line across the dock, to 
the north-westerly line of the wharf of said Corporation, at a point 
distant thirty-three (33) feet north-easterly from the south-westerly cor- 
ner thereof. Approved May 2, 1877. 

367. Salem and Magnolia Steamboat Company, for solid wharf at 
Salem Neck, Salem Harbor. Beginning at a point on the high-water 
mark on Salem Neck, distant one hundred (100) feet north-westerly 
from a stone wall which is on the dividing line of land belonging to 
the city of Salem and other parties, and running due north a distance 
of one hundred and thirty (130) feet; thence easterly, at right angles 
to the last-named line, a distance of sixty (60) feet; thence northerly 
again, at right angles to the last-named Hue, a distance of twenty (20) 
feet; thence westerly, at right angles to the last named-line, a distance 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



37 



of ninety-two (92) feet; thence southerly, at right angles to the last- 
named line, a distance of twenty (20) feet; thence easterly, at right 
angles to the last-named line, a distance of twenty (20) feet; thence 
southerly, at right angles to the last named line, a distance of one hun- 
dred and thirty (130) feet, more or less, to the high-water mark. Ap- 
proved May 16, 1877. 

368. Malachi Clark, to drive nine (9) piles on the southerly side of 
Congress-street Bridge, for the support of a water-tank. Express condi- 
tion that the structure is to be of a temporary character, and that it shall 
be removed at any time at the request of this Board. Approved 
May 16, 1877. 

369. City of Cambridge, to build a sea-wall on the easterly line of 
Prison Point Street in Miller's River, between the southerly abutment 
of Prison Point Bridge, and the sea-wall of the Boston and Lowell Rail- 
road Corporation. Approved May 19, 1877. 

370. Edward P. Haskell, for filling the dock lying between his wharf 
and the New Bedford and Fairhaven Bridge, New Bedford. Beginning 
at the north-easterly corner of the present wharf, and running northerly 
in line with the easterly line of the present wharf extended, to the south- 
erly line of the bridge running from New Bedford to Fairhaven; thence 
running westerly along said southerly line of said bridge to the upper end 
of said northerly dock of Edward. P. Haskell. Approved May 23, 1877. 

371. Boston, Winthrop, and Point Shirley Railroad Company, for 
solid filling on the line of its road in Winthrop, for a distance of two 
hundred and seventy-five (275) feet; an opening or culvert, eighteen (18) 
inches square, to be left under said road for the purpose of drainage. 
Approved June 6, 1877. 

372. James O. Young, for an iron pier on Revere Beach, Revere. 
Beginning at a point on the beach or high- water mark, distant two 
hundred (200) feet southerly from the Pavilion • Hotel on said Revere 
Beach, and running easterly at right angles to said beach, a distance of 
one thousand (1,000) feet, with a general width of ten (10) feet, and a 
T at the end, fifty (50) feet by twenty (20) feet, as shown on plan. 
Approved June 7, 1S77. 

373. M. W. Haskins & Brother, for pile-wharf in front of their prem- 
ises on Maverick Street, foot of Jeffries Street, East Boston. Beginning 
on the westerly boundary-line of the premises of M. W. Haskins & 
Brother, at a point distant on said boundary-line, one hundred and 
fifteen (115) feet from the northerly line of Maverick Street, and run- 
ning north-easterly, along said boundary-line, a distance of fifty (50) feet; 
thence south-easterly, at right angles to the last described line, a distance 
of thirty-five (35) feet; thence south-westerly, at right angles to the last 
described line, a distance of fifty (50) feet; thence north-westerly, a dis- 
tance of thirty-five (35) feet, to the point of beginning. Approved June 
13, 1877. 

374. City of Boston, to rebuild that portion of Chelsea Bridge, which 
said city is to support under chapter 106, Acts of 1876. The portion of 
the present bridge, between the Chaiiestown shore and the harbor line, 
and the portion between the two sea-walls, built by the Mystic River 



■ 38 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 

Corporation, shall be filled solid, sixty-six (66) feet in width, with 
suitable abutment walls, as shown on the plans. The portion of the 
bridge crossing the " South Channel" of Mystic River, and connecting 
the above mentioned portions, shall be a wooden pile-bridge, fifty (50) 
feet wide, provided with an opening forty (40) feet wide in the clear, for 
the passage of vessels, and with an iron turn-table draw or swing bridge, 
carried on a pile foundation. Suitable draw-piers to facilitate the pas- 
sage of vessels, fenders for the protection of the bridge, quarters for the 
draw-tender, and support for the water-mains, shall be provided, all as 
shown on the plans. 

The portion of the bridge supported by the city of Boston, northerly 
of the northerly wall of the Mystic River Corporation Wharf, shall be a 
pile-bridge thirty-two (32) feet wide, as shown on plans. Approved 
June 22, 1877. 

375. Menauhant Land and Wharf Company, for a pile-wharf at 
Menauhant, Falmouth. Beginning at a point on high-water mark, dis- 
tant six (6) feet easterly from the intersection of the westerly line of 
Central Avenue with said high-water mark, and running S. 9° W. a 
distance of one hundred and twenty (120) feet ; thence easterly, at right 
angles to the last-named line, a distance of thirty-two (32) feet; thence 
south-easterly, making an angle of 45° with the last-named line, a dis- 
tance of one hundred (100) feet; thence north-easterly, at right angles to 
the last-named line, a distance of fifteen (15) feet; thence north-westerly, 
at right angles to the last-named line, a distance of one hundred (100) 
feet; thence northerly, making an angle of 45° with the last-named line, 
a distance of twelve (12) feet; thence westerly, at right angles to the last- 
named line, a distance of twenty (20) feet; thence northerly again, at 
right angles to the last-named line to a point on the high-water mark, 
distant twenty (20) feet easterly from the point of beginning. Approved 
June 22, 18. 

376. City of Gloucester, to dredge flats in front of the Ferry Landing 
at East Gloucester, within a radius of forty (40) feet from the end of 
the present Ferry Landing, provided the material shall be deposited in a 
locality where it will not be washed away to the injury of the channels 
in Gloucester Harbor. Approved June 22, 1877. 

377. Old Colony Railroad Company, to drive a row of piles along its 
sea-wall in Fort Point Channel between Broadway and Dover-street 
bridges, Boston, for the purpose of strengthening said wall and also for 
the safety of vessels; provided the piles shall be driven perpendicular, and 
shall not extend beyond the line of the present structure, at the plane of 
mean low water. Approved June 29, 1877. 

378. Lynn and Boston Horse Railroad Company, for temporary bridge 
across Mystic River, as authorized by Chapter 106, Acts of 1876. 

First: Beginning at a point on the westerly line of Chelsea Bridge, 
about three hundred and twenty (320) feet northerly from the northerly 
wall of the Mystic Improvement Company's Wharf, crossing said wall at 
a point distant abont eighty (80) feet westerly from Chelsea Bridge, and 
continuing in the same general direction to the solid filling of the Boston 
and Lowell Railroad Company where the bridge will stop and the track 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



39 



continue by a curve over said filling to a point distant about three hun- 
dred and eighty (380) feet from the centre line of Chelsea Bridge ; where 
another bridge will be constructed running across the South Channel of 
Mystic River to a point in the wall of the Oriental Oil Company's Wharf, 
distant about one hundred and seventy (170) feet from the said centre 
line. 

Second : The alternative plan commences at a point on the westerly 
line of Chelsea Bridge, distant about three hundred and ten (310) feet 
northerly from the northerly wall of the Mystic Improvement Company's 
Wharf, and runs to a point in said wall one hundred and twenty-five 
(125) feet from said bridge, the new bridge running on a curved line for 
fifty (50) feet of its length, before reaching said wall, and continuing on 
a curve and tangent until the filling on said Mystic Improvement Com- 
pany's flats is reached ; thence over said filling, or by their present track 
on Chelsea Bridge, to the Boston and Lowell Railroad Company's Wharf, 
and over said wharf to the aforesaid line of a temporary bridge over the 
South Channel of Mystic River. 

The above measurements are on the centre line of the proposed bridge. 

In the bridge over the South Channel, a draw-line shall be constructed 
of the counter-balance leaf pattern, with a clear opening of thirty-four 
(31) feet, for the passage of vessels, as shown on plan. Approved July 
19, 1877. . 

378c. Lynn and Boston Horse Railroad Company, to modify the man- 
ner of crossing South Channel of Mystic River, by curving from the 
draw to the Boston and Lowell Railroad filling southerly from the location 
fixed in Xo. 378. Approved Aug. 8, 1877. 

379. Augustus H. Wonson, to build a solid wharf in Gloucester Har- 
bor. Beginning at a point on the high ledge marked I on plan, and run- 
ning northerly towards the harbor line, a distance of forty-seven (47) 
feet, to a point marked J on plan ; thence westerly, at right angles to the 
last-named line, and parallel with the harbor line, a distance of sixty (60) 
feet, to a point marked K on plan : thence south-westerly, in a straight line, 
a distance of eighty-eight (88) feet, to a point on the high ledge, marked 
L on plan, which point is distant one hundred and one (101) feet south- 
westerly from the point of beginning. Permission is also granted to said 
Wonson to build a causeway extending from the main land at Rocky 
Xeck, across to the high ledge, of a uniform width of twenty (20) feet, as 
shown on said plan. Approved July 25, 1877. 

380. Trustees under the will of John W. Trull, to fill solid a part of 
the dock in front of their premises, adjoining Warren Bridge, Boston. 
Beginning at a point on the westerly side of the dock in Trull's Wharf, 
distant one hundred (100) feet north-westerly from the south-westerly cor- 
ner of said dock, and running north-easterly at right angles to the said 
westerly line of said dock, a distance of about eighty (80) feet, to the 
solid filling of Minot's Wharf. Approved Aug. 1, 1877. 

381. Selectmen of Scituate, for the consent of the Board to removal 
of material from beaches of Scituate, under chapter 196, Acts of 1877. 
Consent given to said selectmen and other inhabitants of said town, for 
the removal of material from the beaches of said town under the provis- 
ions of said chapter, from the following localities, namely: — 



* 



40 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 

From the beach between high and low water marks, westwardly from 
Hazzard's Rocks, a distance not exceeding five hundred (500) feet. From 
the beach between high and low water marks, from the terminus of the 
highway leading to North Scituate northwardly, a distance not exceeding 
three hundred (300) feet, or to the bulkhead. From the inner side of the 
shingle beach opposite Man Hill. This consent is not to be construed to 
impair the rights of the owners of the beaches upon which said material 
is located. Approved July 26, 1877. 

382. City of Boston, to rebuild the draw-pier of Mount Washington 
Avenue Bridge. The draw-pier to be strengthened by driving additional 
piles in such number and position as are shown by circles colored red on 
plan. New sheathing to be substituted for old on each side of the pier, 
and new bracing substituted for old wherever necessary for the safety of 
draw and pier. Approved Aug. 1, 1877. 

383. Plymouth Cordage Company, to extend wharf in Plymouth Har- 
bor. Beginning at the north-easterly corner of the present wharf, and 
running north-easterly in line with the easterly side of the present wharf 
extended, a distance of ninety (90) feet; thence north-westerly, at right 
angles to the last-named line, a distance of thirty (30) feet; thence south- 
westerly, at right angles to the last-named line, to the north-westerly 
corner of the present wharf. Approved Aug. 8, 1877. 

381. Maverick Oil Company, to extend its wharf on piles in Chelsea 
Creek, East Boston. Beginning at the north-easterly corner of the present 
wharf, and running northerly in line with the easterly side of the present 
wharf extended, a distance of one hundred and eighty-two (182) feet; 
thence westerly, at right angles to the last-named line, a distance of about 
fifty (50) feet, to the easterly boundary-line of the East Boston Gas Light 
Company's premises; thence southerly, along said boundary-line, to the 
north-easterly corner of the wharf of the East Boston Gas Light Com- 
pany. Approved Aug. 15, 1877. 

385. G. W. W. Dove and others, to build a wharf on the southerly 
side of Wood's Holl Harbor, partly solid and partly on piles. Beginning 
at a point on the high-water line on the southerly side of Wood's Holl 
Harbor, distant about four hundred and eighty- two (482) feet westerly 
from the westerly side of the Pacific Guano Company's Wharf, and run- 
ning southerly, at right angles to the general trend of the shore, a distance 
of sixty (60) feet; thence westerly, at right angles to the last-named line, 
a distance of sixty (60) feet ; thence northerly, at right angles to the last- 
named line to the high-water line. In front of the above described solid 
structure a platform may be constructed on piles, not to exceed ten (10) 
feet in width and sixty (60) feet in length, as shown on said plan. Ap- 
proved Aug. 15, 1877. 

386. George O. Shattuck, to build a solid wharf in Mattapoisett Har- 
bor. Beginning at a point on the high- water mark on the easterly side 
of Mattapoisett Harbor, distant about nine hundred and five (905) feet 
northerly from the northerly boundary-line of land belonging to the United 
States Government at Ned's Point, and running S. 70£° W., a distance of 
one hundred and thirty (130) feet, with a uniform width of seventeen 
(17) feet to low- water mark. Approved Aug. 15, 1877. 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



41 



387. George J. Tarr, to build a solid wharf in front of his premises in 
Gloucester Harbor at Fort Point. Beginning at the north-westerly corner 
of the premises of said George J. Tarr, at a bolt, and running south- 
easterly, a distance of eighty (SO) feet, to a drill-hole in a ledge; thence S. 
50° W., a distance of thirty-five (35) feet, to a bolt in a ledge near high- 
water line, marked B on plan; thence S. 60° E., and parallel with the 
stone wharf of Lucy D. Rogers, a distance of seventeen (17) feet, to a 
point marked C on plan; thence S. 51° YY\, a distance of one hundred and 
twenty-six (126) feet, to a point marked Don said plan; thence S. 16° 
20' E.. a distance of twenty- two (22) feet, to a point marked E on plan; 
thence S. 39° W., a distance of thirty-five (35) feet, to a point marked F 
on plan; thence X. 37° 40' W., a distance of one hundred and twenty-two 
(122) feet, to a point marked G on plan; thence N. 50° 20' E., a distance 
of one hundred and two (102) feet, to a point marked H on plan, near 
high- water line ; thence on the last mentioned course a distance of eighty- 
four (84) feet, to the point of beginning. Approved Aug. 18, 1877. 

388. Pacific Guano Company, to extend a solid wharf in Wood's Holl 
Harbor. Beginning at a point on the westerly side of the present w r harf, 
distant sixty-five (65) feet northerly from the south-westerly corner of 
said present wharf, and running westerly, at right angles to the westerly 
side of the present wharf, a distance of one hundred and ten (110) feet; 
thence northerly, at right angles to the last-named line, a distance of two 
hundred and fifty (250) feet, to the high- water mark. Approved Aug. 
22, 1877. 

389. William H. Quiner, to extend his wharf, partly solid and partly 
on piles, in Beverly Harbor. Beginning at the most south-easterly corner 
of the present wharf, and running southerly in line with the most 
easterly line of the present wharf extended, a distance of about ninety- 
three (93) feet; thence westerly, in line with the southerly end of the 
present wharf extended, a distance of about fifty (50) feet, to the present 
wharf. In front of the afore described and present solid structure, a pile 
structure may be built, not exceeding thirty-five (35) feet in width, 
within the easterly and westerly lines of the present wharf extended. 
Approved Aug. 22, 1877. 

390. Nathan B. Goodnow and C. A. Ransom, to maintain a floating 
wharf in Back Bay, between Sagamore Hill and White Head in the town 
of Hull. Beginning at a point on the high-water mark, on the northerly 
side of Sagamore Hill, distant one hundred and eighty-eight (188) feet 
easterly from the boundary-line between land of said C. A. Ransom and 
land of Starkes Whiton, Trustee, and running N. 50° W., a distance of 
three hundred and fifty (350) feet, with a uniform width of four (4) 
feet throughout. Approved Aug. 31, 1877. 

391. Eastern Railroad Company, to fill solid two parcels of flats in 
Prison Point Bay, Boston: — 

First. Beginning at a point in the boundary-line as established be- 
tween flats of the Eastern Railroad Company and of the Boston and Maine 
Railroad Company, and at the southerly or outer side of the old mill- 
dam, marked A on plan, and running in a south-easterly direction by said 
boundary-line, a distance of about one thousand and eighty-five (1,085) 
6 



42 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



feet, to the flats of the city of Boston marked E on plan; thence north- 
easterly, by said flats of the city of Boston, a distance of about seven 
hundred and thirty (730) feet, to Canal Street, marked D on plan ; thence 
north-westerly, by Canal Street, a distance of three hundred and twenty- 
two (322) feet, to the old mill wharf and dam marked C on plan; thence 
on various courses, by the southerly side of said mill wharf and dam, to 
the point of beginning. Said first parcel containing about ten and -j 4 ^- 
(10.45) acres. 

Second. Beginning at a point in the boundary-line between flats of 
the Eastern Railroad Company and of the Boston and Maine Railroad 
Company, and at flats of the city of Boston marked F on plan, and 
running in a south-easterly direction by said boundary- line, a distance of 
about five hundred and sixty-six (566) feet, to flats of the Commonwealth 
marked N on plan ; thence north-easterly, by said flats and land of the 
Commonwealth, a distance of about six hundred and seventy-five (675) 
feet, to Canal Street, marked M on plan; thence north-westerly, by Canal 
Street, a distance of two hundred and five and (205.70) feet, to a 
point marked L on plan; thence south-westerly, by land of parties un- 
known, a distance of three hundred (300) feet, to a point marked K on 
plan; thence north-westerly, by land of said parties unknown, a distance 
of two hundred and ninety-four and ^ w (294.77) feet, to a point marked 
I on plan; thence north-easterly, by land of said parties unknown, a dis- 
tance of three hundred (300) feet, to Canal Street, marked H on plan ; 
thence north-westerly, by Canal Street, a distance of one hundred and 
fifty-five and T 5 ^ feet, to land of the city of Boston marked G on plan; 
thence south-westerly, by land of said city of Boston, a distance of about 
seven hundred and thirty (730) feet, to the point of beginning. Said 
second parcel containing about seven and ^-fa (7.63) acres. Approved 
Sept. 5, 1877. 

392. City of Boston, to rebuild that portion of Neponset Bridge lying 
within its limits. The said bridge shall be rebuilt in the form and of the 
dimensions as shown on the plan, being substantially in its present posi- 
tion. The draw-piers shall be lengthened to one hundred and sixty-five 
(165) feet on each side of the bridge. The draw-way, or opening, for 
vessels to pass shall be increased in width, from twenty -nine and £ (29.5) 
feet to thirty-two (32) feet. The draw shall be an iron leaf-draw, 
twenty-five feet wide. All the piles marked on plan by circles shaded 
black and blue shall be drawn up, and those marked by circles shaded 
red shall be driven. Approved Sept. 12, 1877. 

303. Tow r n of Brookline, to extend its main sewer to the harbor-line 
in Charles River. Beginning at a point on the northerly line of Brighton 
Avenue, opposite the centre line of St. Mary's Street, and running north- 
easterly in line with the centre line of St. Mary's Street extended, to the 
harbor-line. The sewer to be built of brick masonry, protected by walls 
formed by piles and sheet-piling, and covered with earth. Approved 
Sept. 19, 1877. 

394. Ellen A. Bealkey, to build a wharf and two sets of marine-rail- 
ways in Mount Hope Bay, Somerset. The wharf begins at a point on 
the high-water mark, in front of her upland on the westerly shore of 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



43 



Taunton River, and about twenty-one hundred and sixty-five (2,165) feet 
southerly from the bridge across Taunton River, connecting Somerset 
and Fall River, and runs south-easterly, at right angles to the general 
trend of the shore, a distance of five hundred (500) Eeet, with a uniform 
width of twenty-five (25) feet. That part of the wharf which lies 
between high and low water marks may be built solid, but the rest on 
piles. The railway structures shall be built on piles, thirty-five (35) feet 
wide, parallel to said wharf, and forty (40) feet apart, as shown on plan. 
Approved Sept. 19, 1877. 

395. Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company, to dredge a 
channel in front of its wharf in New Bedford Harbor. Beginning at the 
north corner of the present wharf, and running easterly, in a straight line 
until it connects with the main channel dredged by the General Govern- 
ment. The southern boundary of the channel to be parallel to the above 
described line, and distant one hundred and twenty-five (125) feet south- 
erly therefrom. Said channel to continue up the dock on the southerly 
side of the present wharf, to a width of sixty (60) feet, and to depth of 
eighteen (18) feet at mean high water. The material dredged in said 
channel shall be deposited in such places as this Board shall direct. Ap- 
proved Oct. 10, 1877. 

396. Heirs of John Sparhawk, to build a pile wharf at Naugus Head, 
in the town of Marblehead. Beginning at a point on the westerly side 
of Naugus Head, at high-water mark, distant one hundred and fifty (150) 
feat northerly from a stoue wall, and running westerly nearly at right 
angles to the general trend of the shore, a distance of one hundred and 
fifty (150) feet; thence northerly, at right angles to the last-named line, a 
distance of fifty (50) feet; thence easterly, at right angles to the last- 
named line, to the upland or high-water mark. Approved Oct. 17, 
1877. 

397. City of Chelsea, to fill solid a portion of Chelsea Bridge under 
authority of chapter 106, Acts of 1876. Beginning at the south-westerly 
end of the present abutment of Chelsea Bridge, and running southerly 
along the westerly line of said bridge, a distance of two hundred and fifty 
(250) feet; thence easterly, at right angles to the last-named line, a dis- 
tance of sixty-six (66) feet ; thence northerly, at right angles to the last- 
named line, to the south-westerly corner of the wall of Black's Wharf. 
Approved Nov. 20, 1877. 

398. Boston and Albany Railroad Company, to widen Pier No. 5, of 
the Grand Junction Wharves at East Boston, and also to deepen its Dock 
No. .5 to eighteen (18) feet at mean low water. Beginning at a point 
on the northerly end of Dock No. 5, distant twenty-seven (27) feet west- 
erly from the face-line of the brick wall of the elevator, and running 
south-easterly, parallel to said face-line of brick wall, to an angle in the 
westerly line at Pier No. 5; thence southerly, parallel to the westerly line 
of Pier No. 5, to a point in the southerly line of Pier No. 5 extended ; thence 
south-easterly, along said southerly line of Pier No. 5 extended, to the 
south-westerly corner of Pier No. 5. The said Company is further au- 
thorized to deepen its Dock No. 5 to a depth of eighteen (18) feet at 
mean low water, by dredging ; and the material so dredged shall be de- 



« 



44 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



posited at such places as this Board shall direct. Approved Nov. 21, 
1877. 

399. Boston and Albany Railroad Company, to cover the whole of 
Dock No. 2, Grand Junction Wharves at East Boston with a pile struc- 
ture Beginning at the south-easterly corner of Pier No. 1 , and running 
south-easterly in a straight line to the north-westerly corner of Pier No. 
2. The space lying northerly of the above described line and between 
said piers may be covered as shown on plan. Approved Nov. 28, 
1877. 

401. Swett & Co., to widen and extend wharf in Harbor Cove, 
Gloucester Harbor, on piles. Beginning at the north-easterly corner of 
the present wharf of Swett & Co., and running easterly a distance of 
forty (40) feet, to a point in the Harbor Commissioners' line, which point 
is seven (7) feet northerly from the northerly line of the present wharf 
of Swett & Co. extended; thence running southerly, along said harbor 
line, a distance of thirty-one (31) feet, to an angle in said harbor line, 
and continuing in the same course southerly for a distance of nine (9) 
feet; thence westerly a distance of one hundred and fifty-three (153) 
feet, to a point twenty-six (26) feet northerly from the northerly line of 
Maddock's Wharf; thence southerly, at right angles to the last-named 
line, to Maddock's Wharf. Approved Dec. 5, 1877. 

402. Boston and Lowell Railroad Corporation, to fill two parcels of 
flats situated on the easterly and westerly sides of Austin Street, East 
Cambridge. The parcel situated on the easterly side of Austin Street 
shall include all the unfilled space inside of the sea-wall of the Boston 
and Lowell Railroad Corporation, said space being marked by the letter 
A on plan. The parcel situated on the westerly side of Austin Street 
shall be defined by the following described lines: Beginning at a point 
on the north-easterly line of the sea-wall or wharf of the Boston and 
Lowell Railroad Corporation in Miller's River, ten (10) feet south-east- 
erly from the north-westerly corner thereof, and running north-easterly, 
parallel to the westerly line of said sea-wall or wharf, a distance of about 
five hundred (500) feet; thence south-easterly, a distance of about three 
hundred and ninety (390) feet, to the westerly side of Austin Street, in 
such a direction that if the said line were continued across Austin Street, 
it would connect with the sea-wall of the said Railroad Corporation on 
the easterly side of said street; said parcel being marked by the letter B 
on plan. 

Said filling shall be enclosed by suitable bulkheads or sea-walls, as the 
said Corporation may elect. Approved Dec. 12, 1877. 

403. Selectmen of the town of Milton, to repair and lengthen the 
draw-pier in Granite Bridge across Neponset River. The easterly draw- 
pier in said Granite Bridge may be lengthened for a distance of fifteen 
(15) feet. The additional piles which are necessary in repairing said 
draw-pier shall be driven in such number and such position as are shown 
by circles in red ink on said plan. Approved Dec. 12, 1877. 

401. Proprietors of Rowe's Wharf, to rebuild certain portions of the 
wharf, on the northerly side, in Fort Point Channel, Boston. The por- 
tion to be rebuilt begins at the most north-westerly corner on the north- 



» 



1878.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



45 



erly side of the present wharf, marked A on plan, and runs easterly in 
the extension of the northerly side of the present wharf, a distance of 
forty- three (43) feet; thence running southerly, nearly at right angles to 
the last-named line, to the most north-westerly, corner of the sea-wall on 
the northerly side of said Rowe's Wharf, marked B on plan. The por- 
tion lying northerly of the following described line shall be taken up: 
Beginning at a point on the easterly line of said sea-wall marked C on 
plan, distant seven (7) feet southerly from the point marked B on plan, 
and running easterly, parallel to the northerly line of the present wharf, 
to an angle in the present wharf, marked D on plan. The piles shall be 
driven in such number and position as are shown by circles shaded red on 
said plan. Approved Dec. 19, 1877. 

405. City of Gloucester, to fill a portion of its flats adjoining Com- 
mercial Street. Beginning at a point on the northerly side of the wharf 
of Swett & Co., distant sixty-eight (68) feet easterly from the easterly 
side of Commercial Street, measuring along the northerly side of said 
wharf, and running northerly at right angles to said northerly side of 
said wharf, a distance of fifty-six (56) feet more or less, to the southerly 
side of the wharf of Patrick Coffee. Approved December 31, 1877. 

Hearings before the Board in Addition to the regular Business 



Four hearings with Charles H. Lewis and Boynton Brothers, for pay- 
ments on account of dredging off Battery Wharf. 

Two hearings with a committee of the town of Winthrop in regard 
to the probable effect of the sewage of the city of Boston, proposed to 
enter Boston Harbor at " Shirley Gut." 

One hearing with Capt. J. Leary, in relation to unreasonable delay at 
the railroad-draws on Charles River. 

Three hearings on the petition of Messrs Smith & Douglass for leave 
to place a fish-weir on the N. X. W. side of Great Misery Island, Salem 
Harbor. 

One hearing on complaint of John Foster in regard to injury to his 
wharf by a sewer of the city of Boston, in Neponset River. 

One hearing on the petition of John E. Somes for leave to extend his 
wharf in Gloucester Harbor. 

One hearing on the petition of the Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company 
for leave to build a granite wall, and fill flats in Salem Harbor. 

One hearing on the petition of F. A. Newhall, for leave to dredge a 
channel in Lynn Harbor. 

One hearing on the petition of the Boston and Hingham Steamboat 
Company, for leave to enlarge its wharf at Hull. 

One hearing on the petition of the Old Colony Railroad Company for 
leave to connect its draw-pier with that of Federal Street Bridge, in 
Fort Point Channel, by a pier eight feet in width. 
• One hearing on the petition of the Boston Land Company, for leave 
to extend a street over its flats at Breed's Island. 

One hearing with the agents of the several foreign steamship lines in 
relation to dredging operations in Boston Harbor, for the season of 1877. 




46 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



One hearing on the petition of S. A. Holt and the Boston and Lowell 
Railroad Corporation for leave to fill flats in Miller's River. 

One hearing on the petition of the Old Colony Railroad Company in 
regard to the location of the boat-house of the Shawmut Boat Club, on 
the easterly side of Dover Street Bridge. 

One hearing on the petition of Henry Lyon for leave to cover with a 
pile structure the upper portion of the westerly dock of Swett's Wharf, 
in Charles River, Charlestown District. 

One hearing on the petition of John P. Squire and others, wharf owners 
at the upper end of Miller's River, representing that the filling done by 
the Boston and Lowell Railroad Corporation at its bridge •over Miller's 
River is washing into the said river to the injury of their property, and 
that said Corporation should be held responsible for such injury. 

One hearing on the petition of the Salem and Magnolia Steamboat Com- 
pany for leave to build a solid wharf on " Salem Neck," Salem Harbor. 

Two hearings on the petition of the Eastern Railroad Company for 
leave to fill its flats in Prison Point Bay, Charlestown District. 

Two hearings on the petition of Abraham H. Tower for leave to take 
gravel from " Bassing Beach," Cohasset Harbor. 

One hearing on the petition of the Boston, Winthrop, and Point Shirley 
Railroad Company for leave to fill flats on the line of its road in Winthrop. 

One hearing on the petition of the Shawmut Boat Club for leave to 
moor a floating boat-house at Dover Street Bridge. 

Two hearings on the petition of the South Cove Corporation and George 
W. Tuxbury for leave to fill flats in South Bay. 

Four hearings on the petition of the Lynn and Boston Railroad Com- 
pany for leave to build temporary bridges across Mystic River. 

One hearing on the petition of John T. Heard, for the Trustees under 
the will of John W. Trull, for leave to fill solid a portion of the dock 
adjoining property on Causeway Street, Charles River, now leased to 
Loyal Love joy & Company. 

One hearing on the petition of Augustus H. Wonson for leave to build 
solid a part of his wharf on " Rocky Neck," Gloucester Harbor. 

One hearing on the petition of George J. Tarr for leave to build a 
wharf in Gloucester Harbor. 

One hearing on the petition of the Maverick Oil Company for leave to 
extend its wharf in Chelsea Creek, East Boston. 

One hearing on the petition of W. H. Quiner for leave to extend his 
w T harf in Beverly Harbor. 

One hearing on the petition of Nathan B. Goodnow for leave to main- 
tain a floating wharf at Nantasket, near Sagamore Head. 

One hearing on the petition of Ellen A. Bealkey for leave to build a 
wharf and two marine railways in Taunton River at Somerset, opposite 
Fall River. » 

One hearing on the petition of the town of Brqokline for leave to 
extend a sewer into Charles River opposite St. Mary's Street. 

Two hearings on the petition of the Boston and Albany Railroad Com- 
pany for leave; to occupy dock room in Grand Junction Wharves, East 
Boston. 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



47 



Two hearings on the petition of Henry Breed for leave to fill flats in 
Lynn Harbor. 

Three conferences with the Board of Land Commissioners in regard to 
matters in connection with the South Boston Flats. 

Two hearings with Boston, Revere Beach,, and Lynn Railroad Company 
in relation to payment for Commonwealth's flats taken by their wharf 
structures in Boston and East Boston. 

One hearing on the petition of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and 
Iron Company for leave to dredge a channel from its wharf in New Bed- 
ford to connect with the channel dredged by the United States Govern- 
ment. 

Two hearings in regard to a change in the harbor line on the northerly 
side of Charles River, near Brookline Bridge, in accordance to chapter 
37, Resolves of 1877. 

Two conferences with the Committee on Streets of the City of Boston 
in regard to the extension of B Street to Eastern Avenue, South Boston 
Flats. 

One hearing on the petition of Swett & Co. for leave to extend their 
wharf in Gloucester Harbor. 

One hearing on the petition of the City of Chelsea for leave to build 
solid a portion of Chelsea Bridge -under chapter 106, Acts of 1876. 

Two hearings on the petition of the Boston and Lowell Railroad Cor- 
poration for leave to widen its freight bridge across Charles River. 

One hearing with Capt. F. C. Gates, harbor-master of the port of Bos- 
ton, and a committee of the Boston Tow-Boat Association, in relation to 
the dumping of ashes in Boston Harbor. 

Two hearings on the petition of the selectmen of the town of Scituate 
for leave to take gravel from Scituate beaches between the first and second 
cliffs. 

Two conferences with J. W. Gerard and A. D. Williams in regard to 
changing the harbor line in South Bay. 

Three hearings on the petition of the New York and New England 
Railroad Company for leave to widen its terminal facilities in Fort Point 
Channel on the Boston side. 

One hearing on the petition of the selectmen of the town of Milton 
for leave to repair and lengthen the draw-pier in Granite Bridge, Nepon- 
set River. 

Field Surveys. 

Survey in Chatham Harbor for the purpose of wharf extension by 
George H. Howe of Chatham, and plans made thereof. 

Two surveys in front of the National Dock and Warehouse Company's 
Wharves, East Boston, for the purpose of ascertaining the amount of 
material dredged under contract with the Harbor Improvement Company, 
and plans made thereof. 

Survey in front of Grand Junction and Cunard wharves, East Boston, 
for the purpose of ascertaining the amount of material to \)e removed by 
dredging, and inviting proposals for such dredging, and plans made 
thereof. 



18 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS 1 REPORT. [Jan. 



Survey of Bassing Beach and surrounding channel, Cohasset Harbor, 
for the purpose of ascertaining whether the removal of sand and gravel 
from said beach is injurious to the navigation of Cohasset Harbor, and 
plan made thereof. 

Two surveys of Battery Wharf Shoal, the removal of which was under 
contract with Charles H. Lewis, for the purpose of ascertaining the 
amount of material dredged in completion of the contract, and plans 
made thereof. 

Two surveys off Cunard Wharf, East Boston, for the purpose of ascer- 
taining amount of material dredged under contract with the Harbor 
Improvement Company, and plans made thereof. 

Three surveys oft Pier 6, Grand Junction wharves, East Boston, for the 
purpose of ascertaining the amount of material dredged under contract 
with W. S. Fretch & Co., and plans made thereof. 

Survey of flats rilled by S. A. Holt and the Boston and Low T ell Railroad 
Corporation in East Cambridge. 

Survey of the Boston and Lowell Railroad Corporation's ground in East 
Cambridge, as petitioned for by them to be filled, for the purpose of 
assessing compensation for tide- water displaced by such filling. 

Survey of the Bass and Gurnet Rocks, at the entrance of Plymouth 
Harbor, off Gurnet Head, for the purpose of petitioning the General 
Government for their removal, according to chapter 12 of the Resolves of 
1877, and plans made thereof. 

Survey of Prison Point Bay and adjacent basins, for the purpose of 
ascertaining the amount of compensation for tide-water displaced that 
could be had by filling said bay and basins up to the height of high-water 
mark. 

Survey of flats in Miller's River, for the purpose of ascertaining how 
much of these flats can be allowed as compensation in kind above the 
plane of mean low- water. 

Surveys made of all structures in tide-water in Boston Harbor wher- 
ever compensation for tide-water displaced is assessed. 

Each year's work by the Board, though unattended by 
striking or special features, adds to the provision for preserv- 
ing and improving the harbors of the Commonwealth. To 
the labors of those who have preceded the present Board the 
usefulness of the latter is largely due ; and the greatest util- 
ity of present work demands that it shall be so conducted 
that those who follow shall work with wider knowledge and 
larger means. The Board continues much indebted to the 
distinguished scientific men of the United States Advisory 
Council and of the Coast Survey, whose assistance it has 
enjoyed. The routine work of the Board is continually in- 
creasing in its demand upon the time of the members ; but 
it is gratifying to know, that, notwithstanding the extreme 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



49 



depression of business, so long continued, there is a constant 
demand for further facilities for navigation in the principal 
ports. Nearly every railroad having a terminus in Boston has 
been an applicant during the year for permission to occupy 
tide-water to enlarge accommodation for existing business. 

FREDERIC W. LINCOLN. 
FRANCIS A. NYE. 
ALBERT MASON. 

Boston, January, 1878. 
7 



DEATH OF ADMIRAL DAVIS. 



At a meeting of the Board of Harbor Commissioners held 
at their office, Feb. 21, 1877, the following resolutions were 
adopted on hearing of the death at Washington, Feb. 18, of 
Rear-Admiral Davis, a member of their Advisory Council : — 

Resolved, That the Board of Harbor Commissioners learned 
with deep regret the death of Admiral Charles Henry Davis. 
He has been during the last ten years a member of its Advis- 
ory Council, and has aided by his counsel and influence, and 
by his eminent scientific attainments as a physical hydrog- 
rapher, the great improvements that have been made during 
that time on the harbors and the coast of his State. 

Resolved, That the members, as individuals, regret that 
they will be no more associated with one who by his courage, 
his accomplishments, and manners, formed the ideal of a sol- 
dier, a scholar, and a gentleman. 

Voted, That a copy of the above resolutions be transmitted 
by the chairman to the family of the deceased. 

Admiral Davis was born in Boston, Jan. 10, 1807. He 
received his education in his native town, graduating from 
the Latin School, and entered Harvard College in 1821. 
After leaving that institution, he was appointed a midship- 
man in the United States Navy, and was connected with that 
service in the several grades of professional rank, until his 
decease. In 1842 he was detailed for duty in the United 
States Coast Survey. He remained in this department for a 
number of years under Mr. Hassler and his successsor, Pro- 
fessor Bache. During this time he commenced those investi- 
gations into the laws of engineering in tidal harbors, the 
fruits of which were shown from time to time in the numer- 
ous memoirs and reports which he wrote on the great har- 
bors of the United States and kindred subjects. Naturally 



52 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. '78. 



he took a great interest in the study of the harbor of his 
native city. In 1851 he read to the American Academy of 
Arts and Sciences an important paper on its character, tra- 
cing its changes from colonial times, with suggestions as to 
its dangers and the methods for its improvement. This 
valuable paper is printed in the fifth volume of its trans- 
actions. 

In 1859 he was invited by the city government, in connec- 
tion with Gen. J. G. Totten, Chief Engineer of the United 
States Army, and Professor A. D. Bache, Superintendent of 
United States Coast Survey, to constitute a Board of Com- 
missioners for the examination of the waters of Boston Bay. 
Professor Henry Mitchell was afterwards added to this com- 
mission. Extensive and exhaustive surveys were made for a 
number of years under their direction ; and the series of their 
reports published by the city have obtained a high reputa- 
tion, not only for the local information they contain, but for 
the general principles of science which are discussed and 
established for the safety and care of all other harbors and 
tidal waters. On the organization of the Massachusetts 
Board of Harbor Commissioners, the United States Commis- 
sion was invited to act as their Advisory Council. They 
accepted the trust, without any promise of pecuniary value, 
but as a matter of public spirit ; and their labors have been 
of eminent service to the Commonwealth, but, on account of 
locality and personal knowledge, Admiral Davis's share has 
been more prominent than his early colleagues. 

In all the relations of life Admiral Davis was a true son of 
Massachusetts. He was proud of his native State, and 
sought by his own career in science and arms to add to its 
fame and reputation. In the war of the Rebellion his gallant 
services were recognized by votes of thanks by Congress and 
by the Legislature of our own Commonwealth. 

His interest in the Board and in the service to which 
it is devoted, and the feeling that this community has met 
with a loss by his death, induce us to embrace the occasion 
which our Annual Report furnishes to add this brief tribute 
to his memory. 



APPENDIX. 



[A.] 



IMPROVEMENT OF SOUTH BOSTON FLATS. 



Report of the Engineer in Charge, Dec. 31, 1877. 

The past year has enabled the contractors, Messrs. Clapp & 
Ballou, to complete the work of building the walls, and filling the 
25 acres of flats undertaken in the contracts of Sept. 29, 1873, 
and June 30, 1875. 1 

Although the progress of the work has been from time to time 
described in former reports, this ma} T be a proper time to give a 
summary description of the whole work and its progress, with the 
reasons for adopting the existing forms of the structures and the 
materials actually used. 

Beginning on the east side of Fort Point Channel, at the north- 
ern boundary of the lands of the Boston Wharf Company, we 
have a light sea-wall along the easterly side of this channel, built 
upon piles, for a length of about 720 feet. A section of this wall 
is shown on the middle of plate F, figure 3. The piles are capped 
with a grillage of three- inch spruce plank in both directions, at a 
level of 1^- feet below mean low water, where the wall is founded,* 
nine feet in thickness. It is built to the level of 16 feet above 
mean low water, and is therefore 17 T 3 g- feet in height above the 
plank. At the bottom of the coping course it is five feet thick, 
having a batter of about two inches to the foot on the face. The 
coping is set back about a foot from the face, to give a bearing for 
the platform which is intended to bridge the interval between the 
face of the wall and the harbor- line, (28 feet) by means of which 
interval a depth of water of some 12 to 18 feet is had along the 
harbor-line at low water, without exposing the piles to the water. 
These piles were driven from 20 to 30 feet into the bottom, some 
ten feet of which was a stitT material, affording good foundation 
for bearing loads ; but the top is too soft to give much lateral sup- 
port. The piles are in five rows, about two feet apart, centre to 

1 See appendices of the eighth and tenth annual reports. 



56 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



centre, across the wall, and two and a half feet apart on centres, 
lengthwise. The mud was removed for about two feet below their 
heads, and this space was filled with oyster-shells, well packed. 
The wall is of dry rubble granite masonry, and is ballasted in the 
rear with large and small broken stone and oyster-shells, the bal- 
last assuming its own slope from a point two feet back of the wall 
at the top. 

The bottom of Fort Point Channel has been dredged outside the 
harbor-line to a depth of 12 feet at low water down to the line of 
Oliver Street extended, thence sloping down to a depth of about 
19 feet at the north end of this light wall. Greater depth than 
this could not be safely maintained along the front of a wall of 
this class, without giving more width for a slope under the plat- 
form. For this reason, and for others connected with the tidal 
currents, this point was selected for beginning the heavy wall, 
with a deep foundation, within about a foot of the harbor-line, 
along which line the bottom continues to slope downward, attain- 
ing a depth of 23 feet at low water in a further distance of about 
400 feet. 

This light wall was begun in March, 1874, the foundations having 
been partly prepared during the previous winter. It was com- 
pleted in the autumn of the same }'ear, except for a short distance 
where it connects with the heavy wall beyond, by a spur running 
out to the harbor line- 

The settlement of this light wall is recorded in table A. Early 
after its completion, this wall was filled up to grade 13 with clay, 
and a large pile was left temporarily at a higher level near the 
beginning of the curve. Directly afterwards a forward movement 
of the wall was observed, about a foot in amount, and tapering 
out in about 200 feet of length each way. The pile of clay was 
soon removed by spreading on to adjacent spaces, and no further 
movement has been detected here since. The coping had been 
considerably disturbed by the hoisting of clay over it, and was re- 
set in 1877, on a straight line, leaving the offset below the coping 
of slightly irregular width. 

From the end of this light wall, for a distance of 803 feet along 
the coping, around the curve to the first dock, we have a heavy 
sea-wall, a section of which is shown on plate G. The face of 
this wall at the top is one and a half feet back from the harbor- 
line. 1 Its foundation is on the clay, 23 feet below low water. For 

1 When the work was laid out, it was intended to have the faee at the top 
just one foot hack of the harhor line ; but the yielding nature of the material 
encountered under its base rendered it advisable to throw the centre of grav- 
ity further back, for the sake of greater stability, by making more batter in 
front. 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



•57 



12 feet in height it is built of broken quarry stones, dumped from 
vessels, and afterwards arranged with some compactness by divers 
with crowbars, in three laj-ers of about four feet each. The base 
of this work is 45 feet thick, and its top is 18 feet thick, with 
slopes of one and a half base to one of height, and a depth of 
three feet along the edges, where large stones were used. The top 
layer was carefully levelled up with stone chips to receive the 
granite blocks ; a straight edge some twenty feet long being used 
for this purpose b} T the divers, the ends of which rested on plank 
carefully spiked to temporary piles on each side at a level given 
by an assistant above. The dimension stone- work was therefore 
begun 11 feet below low water, with a thickness of 14 feet. It 
was composed of rectangular granite blocks, two feet thick, com- 
pactly laid by divers for five courses ; the bottom course being all 
headers, and the successive courses above being alternately all 
stretchers and all headers, up to low water. Above this point the 
wall is laid in hydraulic cement, in courses of two feet each. The 
wall is five feet thick at the top, and batters nearly alike on its 
face and rear by offsets at each course. It is ballasted with gravel 
from the lower harbor up to within ten feet of the top, and for the 
rest of the height with oyster-shells. The pointing of this wall 
was originally of good American cement, applied under the con- 
tract ; but it was found to have been considerably loosened by the 
frost during the two past winters between high and low water, and 
arrangements were therefore made to replace this pointing with 
Portland cement, where not perfectly sound. This was applied 
without sand, and promises to be more durable in this trying posi- 
tion. 

The plan originally proposed for this wall is shown on plate E, 
except that no ballast was then provided either behind or under it. 
It was approved in 1868 by Major-Gen. J. G. Foster, Geo. R. 
Baldwin, James B. Francis, and T. Willis Pratt, four engineers of 
high standing. It was the plan contemplated in the contracts 
made at that time, which, however, were never approved by the 
Executive, and were therefore dropped. 

Upon subsequently examining the character of the foundation 
on which this wall west of the dock was to rest, it was found that 
some parts of the clay bed were much softer than others, to such a 
degree that it was feared an unequal settlement would occur if this 
plan were to be carried out, so as perhaps to endanger its sta- 
bility. Moreover, the slippery nature of the clay bottom might 
lead to its being pushed bodily forward when loaded by the filling 
behind it. It was found that a wall built on a foundation of broken 



8 



58. HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



stone, as shown on plate G, would cost rather less than if built 
entirely of dimension-stone, while the inspection necessary to 
secure good work would also be less difficult. Moreover, though 
the weight of this broken stone would force the lower portions into 
the clay unequally, because of its unequal softness, thereby causing 
an unequal settlement when first applied, this unequal settlement 
would, it was thought, reach its limits before imposing the weight 
of the dimension-stone, so it could be levelled up after such settle- 
ment. After consultation with Mr. James B. Francis, C.E., this 
plan with the broken-stone base was therefore adopted for the por- 
tion of the wall under consideration. Work was begun by depos- 
iting the broken stone after dredging the trench, in April, 1874, and 
nearly the whole mass, or about 12,000 cubic yards, was deposited 
during that season, and partly levelled up after waiting for its set- 
tlement. Great pains were taken, and frequent inspection was 
made, as this work progressed, with the view to secure the greatest 
practicable degree of compactness in the material. Divers were 
employed by the State for this purpose, and what was much more 
efficient, the assistant engineer in charge, Mr. J. O. Osgood, 
made frequent inspections in diver's dress. The success of the 
structure is largely due to these precautions, without which such a 
foundation would be likely to give much trouble by subsequent 
unequal settling. 

This wall as now built is certainly capable of resisting a much 
greater thrust without sliding forward on its bed than if the dimen- 
sion-stone had been laid directly on the clay, for its base is com- 
posed of large, angular stones, embedded in the clay by the super- 
incumbent load, while it covers by its base more than double the 
width of a wall built as at first proposed entirely of block-stone 
from the bottom. In constructing it, the broken stone, having 
been mostly deposited in 1874, were allowed to remain till the 
following year before proceeding with the dimension-stone above. 
In fact, only 1,200 cubic yards of the latter were laid prior to April, 
1875. The unequal settlement of the broken stone actually taking 
place on the different qualities of material, really caused no practi- 
cal inconvenience, for this work was levelled up after such unequal 
settlement had reached its apparent limits. 

Early in 1875 this foundation was finally levelled up, and the 
granite blocks laid up upon it. .Its completion occupied the whole 
of the years 1875 and 1876. It is now a year since it was loaded 
by the filling, and its stability has been quite satisfactory. The 
actual settlement of its lower course along its whole length and its 
progress in detail is given in the tables B and C together with 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 59 



the present level of the top of coping above mean low water. 
The settling of the granite wall has taken place with such uni- 
formity that scarce any cracks have been formed in the cemented 
joints of the coping. The largest crack had opened about one- 
fourth of an inch over a year ago at the top. It was repointed in 
1876, and subsequently opened one-eighth of an inch. It has been 
again pointed in 1877, and now shows nearly one-sixteenth of 
an inch opening. The total motion is therefore less than half an 
inch, and appears to be decreasing. No forward or lateral move- 
ment has been detected in this wall, except the very slight one 
indicated by this crack. Not a stone has been broken by this 
movement. 

In making contracts for the building of the heavy sea-wall east 
of the mouth of Fort Point Channel, provision had always been 
made for leaving openings for docks, which, it was supposed, could 
be constructed whenever the demand for their use might arise. As 
the filling of the neighboring flats progressed, it was found, early 
in 1875, that the material dredged from the harbor and lifted over 
the wall from which it was carried back by railways on trestles, 
and dumped from cars, had by such repeated handling been 
reduced from a stiff clay to a soft mortar, which spread out at a 
very flat slope, requiring from 15 to 20 feet horizontal for every foot 
of additional height. No temporary structure could be erected 
along the line of the dock to limit the spreading of this heavy 
material without a large expenditure, and it was therefore con- 
cluded to build the dock walls at once. The contract of June 30, 
1875, provided for these walls, on a similar plan and at a similar 
cost with the light wall on Fort Point Channel already described, 
except that near their junction with the heavy wall where the slop- 
ing material in their front would be exposed more than elsewhere 
to the impact of harbor waves, provision was made to protect 
these slopes by a deposit of broken stone, at the rate of $1.25 per 
ton. The size and shape of this dock is shown on plate F. 

These dock walls were begun in 1875, and were nearly finished 
in 1876, the portions next the heavy walls being laid up in connec- 
tion with the latter. After being ballasted, a considerable portion 
of the clay-filling was hoisted over the walls at different points, 
and allowed to spread back, taking a very flat slope ; the re- 
mainder of the interior spaces being filled by dumping the material 
from cars on trestles. If the whole filling had been done from 
these trestles, without first loading the walls, — i.e., if the slope had 
been towards the walls instead of from them while being loaded, — 
the} T would doubtless have all been destroyed ; for the material 



60 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



took a slope of only three to five degrees above the horizontal, 
before losing its water. In table A will be found a record of the 
actual settlement of these walls, averaging about two inches up to 
this date ; being chiefly clue to the indentation of the bottom stone 
into the plank, and the springing of the plank to get a complete 
bearing on each pile-head. 

Owing to the rapid filling of certain portions of the space during 
the last season, slight forward movements took place, as follows : 
At a point about 200 feet from the south-west corner of the dock, 
it moved forward six inches. At a point on the east side of the 
dock, about 25 feet from its junction with the heavy wall, it moved 
forward six inches. This motion did not appear to continue in 
any case beyond the period during which the semi-fluid clay was 
expelling the water with which it had been mixed by handling, and 
which floated out of it shortly after being dumped. 

In providing for the strip of heavy wall along the harbor-line east 
of the dock on the flats belonging to the State, and between this 
and the dock on the flats of the Boston and Albany Railroad Com- 
pany, the same reasons did not appear to exist for the base of broken 
stone twelve feet high which had existed on the portion described 
above, west of the clock. Between the two docks the founda- 
tion was quite uniform in texture, giving less reason than further 
west for unequal settlement, while the conditions ot the back fill- 
ing were such as to impose a lighter load per linear foot of the 
whole work ; for this filling was only to extend against the central 
portion of its length, 156 feet only being filled out of a total length 
of about 180 feet, the dock walls being connected with it about 32 
feet back from its ends. Still another reason appeared for adher- 
ing to the principal features of the original plan at this place ; viz., 
the greater exposure here existing to the erosive effect of waves 
on the bottom, which might perhaps disturb a foundation of broken 
stones having a steep slope. It was therefore determined to adhere 
to a modification of the original plan for this part of the heavy 
wall which was built as indicated on plan E, the modification re- 
ferred to being this : the foundation was dredged about four feet 
below the base of the wall, and the trench filled with small broken 
stones to diminish the risk of slipping. Previous, however, to advis- 
ing this style of wall at this place, I had caused the bottom to be 
thoroughly tested as described in the report of Dec. 31, 1875, and 
published in the appendix of the Tenth Annual Report of your 
Board, to which report I would also make reference for a descrip- 
tion of the methods adopted for testing the cement used in all the 
heav} T walls above low water. Every barrel used has been thus 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



61 



tested. The foundation for the 180 feet of heavy wall between 
the docks was prepared in the year 1876, as above described, by 
dredging three or four feet below its base, and levelling up with 
small broken stones from one to four inches diameter, carefully 
packed and levelled with a straight edge. During the year 1876, 
about seven courses of dimension-stone were laid upon this by 
divers, each course being alternately all headers and all stretchers 
up to low water. It has since been finished in cement masonry up 
to grade 16, the dock walls having been bonded into it as it was 
laid. The filling has but recently been applied ; but, as the press- 
ure of such filling against the wall is more severe immediately 
after its application than ever likely to be afterward, its present 
stability is an apparent guarantee for that of the future. A record 
of its settlement is appended in table D. The dimensions of the 
dock, with the shape and position of the walls, are shown on the 
accompanying diagram, marked plate F. The extra width of 
the proposed platforms along the dock walls, as we approach the 
harbor-line, is provided in order to allow of a flatter slope for the 
clay under these platforms at those points where most exposed to 
the erosion of harbor waves, and at the same time avoid the large 
extra cost of providing a deeper foundation of masonry for the 
wall, which would have been the only alternative ; for the piles 
will not endure long unless covered with clay to protect them 
from worms. Near the outer end of the dock this slope will be 
essentially covered by the platform, which is to-be there 40 feet 
wide ; but along the inner portion of its length, this slope will 
extend out beyond the platform, though not to an extent which will 
be of inconvenience to vessels, which will have their keels in 
deep water. 

In the following tabular statements (tables E, F, and Gr) will 
be found a record of the pay men is made under the contracts with 
Messrs. Clapp & Ballou, also a statement of the quantities of each 
kind of work done, with the nominal prices attached, by which 
partial payments have been made during the progress of the work, 
amounting, when finished, to the contract prices per lineal foot 
of wall, and square foot of filling. 



62 



HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



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1878.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



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HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



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PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



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15.64 
15.71 
15.78 
15.73 
15.73 
15 78 
15.76 
15 78 
15 77 
15.77 
15.72 
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15.65 
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15.75 
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15.77 
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HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



East End. 
No. 11. + 


1875. 
June 24. 

June 30. 

Sept. 28. 
Oct. 13. 
Nov. 5. 
Nov. 15. 

1876. 
1876 
1876. 
Sept. 7. 


No. 10. 


1874. 
Dec. 29, 

1875. 
April 19, 

Aug. 13, 
Oct. 4, 
Oct. 9, 
Oct. 15, 
Nov. 10, 
Nov. 15, 
Nov. 20, 

1876. 

1876. 

1876. 

1876. 


d 

to 


1874. 
Dec. 5, 

1875. 
Jan. 9, 

Aug. 7, 
Sept. 2, 
Sept. 17, 
Sept. 23, 
Oct. 5, 
Oct. 10, 
Oct. 12, 
Oct. 25, 
Oct. 28, 
Oct. 29, 


No. 8. 


1874. 
Dec. 1, 

Dec. 30, 

1875. 
July 9, 

July 20, 

Aug. 18, 

Aug. 31, 

Sept. 25, 

Sept. 30, 

Oct. 2, 

Oct. 10, 

Oct. 15, 

Oct. 10, 


d 


1874. 
Nov. 7, 

Nov. 17, 

1875. 
May 28, 

June 9, 

July 22, 

July 28, 

Aug. 30, 

Sept. 10, 

Sept. 25, 

Sept. . 28, 

Sept. 30, 

Oct. 1, 


? 

CO 

d 


1874. 
Oct. 22, 

Nov. 2, 

1875. 
May 1, 

May 26, 

July 10, 

July 25, 

Aug. 15, 

Aug. 30, 

Sept. 15, 

Sept. 19, 

Sept. 22, 

Sept. 25, 


d 

n 


1874. 
Sept. 5, 

Oct. 1, 

1875. 
April 22, 

May 15, 

June 18, 

June 28, 

July 30, 

Aug. 15, 

Aug. 20, 

Aug. 25, 

Aug. 30, 

Sept. 5, 


d 


1874. 
Sept. 1, 

Sept. 10, 

1875. 
April 13, 

May 5, 

June 2, 

June 14, 

July 15, 

July 20, 

July 23, 

July 25, 

Aug. 3, 

Aug. 31, 


West End 
Begun. 


1874. 
Aug. 25, 

Sept. 5, 

1875. 
April 12, 

May 5, 

June 1, 

June 11, 

July 3, 

July 10, 

July 13, 

July 29, 
Aug. 10, 
Nov. 11, 


NUMBER OF COURSE. 


r? <N S5 ^* » « N « » g -J g «* 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 67 



TABLE D. 



Levels on Heavy Wall East of Dock. — {Referred to Mean 

Loiv Water). 





Elevation of Bottom 
Course. 


Vail above 
ourse (Bot- 
l feet). 


>f Top of 
ont line of 
e. 20, 1877. 


Regular Stations are 20.42 feet apart. 


Sept. 26, 
1877. 


Dec. 20, 
1877. 


Height of A 
Bottom C 
torn c. = : 


Elevation ( 
Wall (Fr 
Caps), De> 


End of wall A, 


—20.94 


—20.94 


37.01 


16.07 


B, 


—21.04 


—21.09 


37.11 


16.02 


c, 


—21.04 


—21 .07 


37.12 


16.05 




—21.00 


—21.04 


37.06 


16.02 


Dolphin No. 14, 73.G ft. from W. j E 
end of caps, . . . . ) ' 


—20.90 


—20.99 


37.05 


16.06 


F, 


—21.00 


—21.03 


37.11 


16.08 


G, 


—21.00 


—21.02 


37.10 


16.08 


H, 


—21.03 


—21.06 


' 37.17 


16.11 


I, 


—20.95 


—20.98 


37.10 


16.12 


Dolphin No. 15, 105.1 ft. from j j 
E. end of caps, . . . j ' 


—20.94 


—20.96 


37.13 


16.17 


End of wall, . . . K, 


—20.93 


—20.95 


37.09 


16.14 


Mean of latest levels, 




—21.01 


37.09 


16 08 


Original elevation, top of bottom 




—20.8 






Average settlement, .... 




—0.21 






Greatest settlement 




—0.29 






Least settlement, .... 




—0.14 







N. B. — The datum used for these levels is the same hitherto u^ed in connec- 
tion with the office of the Harbor Commissioners and Coast Survey. It varies 
slightly from the datum of the City Engineer's office. This datum can be 
found by the following bench-marks; viz., North-east corner of door-step of 
office of Boston Water Board's pipe-yard on Federal Street, opposite New 
York and New England Railroad station, is called 19.839; cpping of Dry Dock 
in Navy Yard, 14.620. 



68 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



TABLE E. 



Record of Payments made under the Contracts with Messrs. Clapp 

& Ballou. 



WORK DONE. 


Lineal Feet. 


Square feet 


Total value at 
the Contract 
prices. 


Reserved 

under 
Contract. 


Actually 


Light 
Wall. 


Heavy 
Wall. 


of Filling. 


Raid. 


Before Jan. 1, 1875, 


641 


255 


190,016 


$160,139 00 


$16,013 88 


$144,125 12 


" Jan. 1,1876, 


1,138 


743 


349,216 


357,682 26 


35,768 20 


321,914 06 


" Jan. 1, 1877, 


2,415 


879 


561,692 


525,228 21 


52,522 82 


472,705 39 


" Jan. 15,1878, 


2,635 


944.849 


884,010 r 6 o 


676,313 68 


67,631 33 


608,682 35 



These partial payments have been made according to the following list of 
nominal prices furnished by the contractor, amounting, when multiplied by 
the estimated quantities of each kind of work, to the contract price per lineal 
foot of walls; viz. : — 

For wall along Fort Point Channel and around dock: 
For piles and planking same, 2 piles per lineal foot, at $5 each, $10 00 per foot. 
Digging out and applying ballast between piles, . . 1 50 " 
Masonry, 4f yards per foot, at $3.32 -f- per yard, . . 15 50 " 
Ballasting back of wall, 7£ yards per foot, at $1.50, . 11 00 " 

Guide piles, 1 00 " 

Total, $39 00 per foot. 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 69 



TABLE F. 

The Quantities of Work actually done at the Various Points are 
about as follows, viz. : 



LOCALITY. 


Length on 
Top. 


Tons. 


Cubic Yards. 


Fort Point Channel wall, .... 


720 iVo 




3 • 1 S ^ i"*7T 7w7 
' J. U \J \J 


Broken stone at north end, . . . 




743 




Heavy wall west of docks, ... 


Qrvo _7_8_3_ 
OVZl 10 






Heavy wall masonry laid by divers, 






3,794 iVcmT 


Heavy wall masonry in cement, 






3,639 T Wo 


Heavy wall foundations of broken stone, 




20,500 or 


12,904 I VoV 


Heavy wall east of dock, .... 


132i 5 o 3 o* 






Heavy wall masonry by divers, 






l,638i 8 oVo- 


Heavy wall masonry in cement, 








Broken stone in foundation, 




923 






1861. 












8,241 T 5 oV 6 o 


Broken stone at north-west corner, . 




737 




Broken stone at north-east corner, . 




1,105 




Broken stone under west wall, . 




146 





* On State's lands. 



70 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



TABLE G. 

Nominal Prices used for Partial Payments. 

For heavy sea-wall west of dock. 

Broken stone in foundation, . . $3.00 per yard. 
Levelling the same, .... .50 " " 
Guide piles for same, . . . . .05 " " 



15.5 cubic yards per foot length, . $3.55 " " . . $55,025 per foot. 

Masonry below low water, 4,091 yards, @ $18, . . . 84.438 " " 

Masonry above low water, 4,531 yards, (cb $17,775, . . 80.537 " " 

Ballast behind Avail, 10.000 " " 

Total, as per contract price, $230,000 " " 

For heavy wall between the docks. 

Masonry laid by divers, 11.95 yards, fa) $15, .... $179.25 per foot. 

Masonry laid above water, 4.531 yards, fa) $10, . . . 45.75 " " 

Levelling foundation, 5.00 " " 

Ballast behind wall, 18.50 " '* 



Total, $248.50 per foot. 



Dredging Done. 

While getting material for filling the area behind the above 
described walls, the following dredging has been done. 

Fort Point Channel has been dredged on a slope as above 
described, reaching a depth of 23 feet at low water, at a point 
about midway the length of the heavy wall west of the dock. 
The portion of this channel opposite the light wall is 400 feet 
wide. Passing eastward, the width gradually contracts to about 
200 feet before arriving at the first dock. Near the entrance to 
this dock, it is widened again to a width of 400 fee£, with a 
depth of 23 feet at low water. This width allows vessels to turn 
in entering or leaving the dock. From this point, a channel is 
dredged about 200 feet wide and 23 feet deep at low water nearly 
due east to the main ship-channel. A considerable amount of 
.material has also been taken from a shoal off the end of Long 
Wharf. 

The dock on the Commonwealth's flats has a depth of 23 feet 
at low water through its whole length, up to within 50 feet of the 
walls on each side, which is as near the walls as it will be safe to 
dredge, before the platforms are built, owing to the difficulty in 
controlling the dredging machines w r ith any exactness. This bank 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



71 



of clay on each side will be a sufficient protection to the walls 
until the platforms are built, after which it ma}' or may not be 
found necessary to dredge a small quantity along their front lines. 

/Stability of the Heavy Wall between the Docks. 
Since this wall is constructed under somewhat novel conditions, 
it may be of interest to refer to the course of reasoning by which 
the forms adopted may be justified under the conditions actually 
existing. This wall is, except for a short distance at each end, to 
act as a retaining wall for the solid filling behind it, while the ebb 
and flow of the tides bring a mass of water in its front, varying 
some 12 feet in height, being from 22 to 34 feet in depth at spring 
tides. Since the lower 12 courses are laid without cement, the 
water passes freely through the wall, rising and falling with every 
tide among the material in its rear, as far as such material is not 
impervious to it. A porous ballast is placed immediately behind 
the wall ; but bej'ond this, the material for 35 feet in height above 
its base is a slippery clay, reduced by handling to a semi-fluid 
condition when first deposited, and acquiring gradually a more 
solid character, by the expulsion of water from among its parti- 
cles, through their greater specific gravity , which was about double 
that of sea-water. This is a slow process : the well-known charac- 
teristic of the material being a tendenc}' to resist the percolation of 
water through its mass ; so that many months elapse after its de- 
posit, before it becomes as compact as when first found in the har- 
bor. In this latter condition, we are obliged to use it as a foun- 
dation to build on. Before beginning the work, it had been found 
by actual experiment that this material would bear a load of some 
5,000 pounds per square foot without flowing out perceptibly from 
under this load : also that an increase of load above this point, 
was soon accompanied by a tendencj- to flow, which was appar- 
ently continuous for a number of days when a load of 16,000 
pounds per foot was applied. The quantit}^ of clay to be moved 
b}' flow from under such a load would increase materially with the 
settlement of the load, for the first few inches of the displacement, 
by the accumulation of this displaced material, after which a chan- 
nel might be established for its escape. A point of equilibrium 
seemed to be reached in our experiments, where a slight settlement 
taking place at first was checked b} T this increase of resistance, 
until, by successive applications of new loads, a load of about 
16,000 pounds per foot was reached, when this settlement seemed 
to become continuous during the experiment. It was therefore 
considered desirable to limit the maximum load to 5,000 pounds 



72 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



per foot if possible, although a heavier load might not produce 
much trouble within the limits of 7,000 or 8,000 pounds per 
square foot. 

The amount and directions of the pressure exerted upon such a 
•wall by the earth behind it, depend upon these two data : (A) 
The specific gravity of the material. (B) The natural slope of 
the material, when a bank of it is left to assume its own slope. 
This angle is the natural resultant of the friction of the particles 
as exerted to prevent sliding and the gravity of the mass. It is 
therefore sometimes called the angle of friction, and its tangent 
is the co-efficient of friction of the material. 

Since the investigations of Prony, in the early part of this cen- 
tury, it has been accepted as proved, that the maximum pressure 
of earth in such cases is exerted, not by the whole prism tying 
between its natural slope and the back of the wall, for the ten- 
dency to slide in that prism is just balanced b}- friction, and it 
would not tend to move at all ; but this maximum pressure is 
exerted by the prism contained between the back of the wall and 
a plane inclined upward from its base so as to bisect the angle 
between the vertical and the natural slope. The sliding of this 
prism downward would therefore throw the centre of pressure in 
the direction of this limiting plane on which the sliding takes 
place, i.e., parallel to it; and as the centre of gravity in such a 
prism, if homogeneous, would be at two-thirds the distance from 
the top of the wall to the centre of this sloping plane, the line of 
pressure would strike the back of the wall at a point one-third way 
up from the base. The value of the horizontal thrust on the wall 
at this point is expressed by the following formula : — 

P = tangent 2 % (90°— $) 

m 

Where P = horizontal pressure on wall for a unit of length. 
W ==: weight of a cubic unit of filling material. 
h = height of wall. 

* = angle of repose of filling material, counting from the 
horizon. 

In other words, this pressure for a unit of length of wall equals 
the product of the weight of the prism for a unit of length by the 
tangent of one-half the complement of the angle of repose : for the 
weight of such a prism is — 

=r J?, 7i 2 tangent % (90°—*) 

Of these elements the weight of the filling is easily obtained, and 
is found by experiment to be about 125 pounds per cubic foot. 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



73 



The height of the wall is 39 feet. It only remains to find the 
angle of repose of the material. It is upon this point that all the 
Uncertainty arises which enters into such calculations, and renders 
them often of little value. The natural slope of earth when not 
subject to the wash of water is generally taken at about 33° 18'. 
But the clay with which we have to deal possesses, when first depos- 
ited, almost the fluidity of mortar ; and its natural slope is found 
to be as low as 3°, till time is given for it to expel the water with 
which it has been mixed. It follows, that a wall of enormous 
weight and breadth of base would be required to hold up such a 
filling for the period of its transition from a semi-fluid to a compar- 
atively solid state ; so that much economy would result by using 
plenty of time in so disposing this back filling as to increase 
the angle of repose as far as possible. The first step in this direc- 
tion is to place in immediate contact with the rear of the wall a 
quantit}* of porous material, or ballast, which will not only drain 
the filling in the immediate neighborhood, but serve to increase 
the angle of the natural slope. Such material was provided for 
this purpose in the specifications; viz., porous gravel, stones, or 
oyster-shells. The gravel would have a natural slope of some 33°18 / , 
and the stones or shells, if used, a slope of 40°. But the prism 
of greatest pressure would not be composed entirely of such ballast. 
There would be a considerable amount of clay, and this would 
tend to make the whole mass slide at a flatter slope than the bal- 
last alone would assume. The natural slope of the combination 
would be somewhere between that of the two substances con- 
sidered separately. A large number of experiments made upon 
the friction of this clay led us to suppose that its angle of repose, 
when not mixed with water, was more dependent on its cohesion 
than friction ; and a disposition to flow under extreme pressure was 
generally developed, even when at its hardest state. If we could 
rely upon the complete expulsion of the water from its mass before 
completing the loading of the wall, and if we chose to rely on 
cohesion, we might rely on a natural slope of some 35° perhaps for 
that of the ballast and clay together. But the difficult}' of attain- 
ing this result, and the uncertain character of the element of 
cohesion, indicate that prudence would require the assumed angle 
to be less than that of common earth alone ; say as small as two 
of base to one of height, or 26° 34/ for the condition of things 
soon after loading the wall. In order to indicate the direction and 
value of the resultant pressure on this supposition, the annexed 
diagram is made (Plate H). 

In this diagram the section of the wall is shown by the figure 



10 



74 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 

ABD. The supposed natural slope of the material behind it, when 
partially consolidated, is shown by the line BF, with an angle of 
63°26' from the vertical. The prism of maximum pressure would 
then be included between the lines BA and BE. It would tend to 
slide down the line BE, and, if composed of homogeneous materials, 
would give a line of pressure parallel to this side, and intersect the 
wall at one-third its height above its base. But we have here con- 
ditions somewhat different from these. The water passes freely 
through the wall and the ballast, so that the centre of gravity of 
the prism ABE would not be at the centre of gravity of this tri- 
angle. Extreme low water is evidently the time when the greatest 
earth pressure exists. But the material below the water at any 
time would not count at its full weight, but at a weight depending 
on its excess of specific gravity over that of sea-water. On com- 
puting the centre of gravity of the figure upon this basis we find 
it at the point C, and drawing thence the line C'H parallel with 
BE we find the line of pressure intersects the back of the wall at 
a point H, more than a foot above the lower third of the height of 
the wall. The weight of such a prism one foot long, allowing for 
the buoyancy of the water, is computed as 50.028 pounds, as indi- 
cated under the point C. The horizontal pressure on the wall is 
then found by the formula above quoted. 

P = w' tangent % (90—$) 
w' being the weight of the mass, ABE — 50.028 
<J> being 26° 34' and % (90° — $) being 31° 43' from which we have 
P = 30.920 lbs. 

We want now to combine this horizontal force with the weight 
of the wall. This is supposed to act from its centre of gravity, C, 
with a vertical force of 53.490 pounds; the portion below low 
water being diminished in weight by the buoyancy of the water, 
and the centre of gravity being higher than that of the figure. 
The resultant is found by computing the diagonal of the force 
parallelogram to be in a direction shown by the line UK, making 
an angle of 30° 02' with the vertical, and having a value of 61.790 
pounds. This would intersect the base at K, distant $.85 feet from 
the, outer corner of the wall, and would indicate a degree of insta- 
bility from the following reasons. The angle 30° 02' is somewhat 
greater than the angle of friction between stone and stone, as gen- 
erally accepted, and decidedly greater than that between stone and 
clay. This might lead to the sliding forward of the wall. More- 
over, the pressure on the base is not uniform, but has a maximum 
at the point D of some 8.500 pounds per square foot, even suppos- 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 75 



ini;: the horizontal component of this resultant to be cancelled by 
friction. It had been found by our experiments above referred to, 
that a pressure of this amount on the clay-bed under the wall 
began to produce symptoms of flow from under the load, hardly 
consistent with stability. 

But we have thus far neglected the items of water pressure and 
friction between the filling and the back of the wall. Since a very 
slight rolling motion in the wall might take place about the point 
B, without producing friction on the line BA, it was not thought 
prudent to rely on this ; although Mosely and some other writers 
suggest such a reliance. But the water-pressure certainly does 
act to some purpose in assisting stability. For although it flows 
freely through the wall and the ballast, it meets, sooner or later, an 
impervious material, against which it stops and exerts the known 
pressure, and a part of this may doubtless be reckoned upon to 
hold back and cancel, pro tanto, the earth pressure. A line is 
drawn on the diagram showing the water-pressure at extreme low 
water intersecting the front of the wall and normal to it, at a 
point one-third the height from the bottom to top of the water, 
having a value of 14.112 pounds. If the wall were a tight dia- 
phragm, this would produce the resultant JL, when combined with 
the above described forces. In reality this resultant may be con- 
sidered to lie between the lines JK and JL. The latter has an 
angle of 73° 10' with the horizontal, or 16° 50' with the vertical, 
which is evidently within the limits of stability. 

The result of the above investigation indicates that it is desira- 
ble to keep the material behind the wall in such a condition that 
the angle of repose would always be slightly greater than here 
shown, which is a condition verging on the extreme limits of sta- 
bility. This end can generally be attained by giving attention to 
the manner in which the filling is deposited ; viz., to insure its 
being deposited in successive layers, giving time for the consolida- 
tion of each layer by the expulsion of water from among its parti- 
cles before applying the next one, and giving each successive layer 
a slope from the wall, by keeping the material highest next the 
wall. These well-known rules in the application of filling behind 
a retaining wall are particularly important when using a material 
like this clay, which acts more like a fluid than a granular sub- 
stance, and is always inclined to flow under pressure, even when 
consolidated as far as possible, the only condition being that the 
pressure shall overcome its cohesion, a power of resistance difficult 
to determine, and which all prudent engineers hesitate to rely upon. 

The above investigation also indicates the apparent lack of sta- 



76 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



bility in case the wall were to be founded directly upon the clay, 
as at first proposed in 1869 ; for the friction of granite blocks upon 
clay is far inferior to that of the same blocks upon the broken 
stone, while the latter, being embedded or indented into the clay at 
the bottom of the trench, get a far better hold than flat stones 
would do, resting on a flat cla}^ bottom. 

Before closing this report, the writer wishes to express his obli- 
gations to Mr. Joseph O. Osgood, your inspector, to whose faith- 
ful attendance, good judgment, and conscientious thoroughness in 
the discharge of his difficult duties, the success of these walls is 
largely due. 

Respectfully submitted by 

ED WD S. PHILBRICK, 
Engineer in Charge. 



Boston, Jan. 14, 1878. 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



77 



[B.] 

REPORT OF OPERATIONS ON THE IMPROVEMENTS 
OF THE RIVERS AND HARBORS, IN THE 
STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS, 

UNDER CHARGE OP 

Bvt. Brig.-Gen. George Thorn, Lieut.-Col. of Engineers, U. S. Army, 
For the Yeah ending Dec. 31, 1877. 



I. Improvement of Boston Harbor, Massachusetts. 
The additional work projected for the improvement of this har- 
bor, daring the season of 1877, under the appropriation made 
therefor by Congress, in the River and Harbor Act of Aug. 14, 
1876, was as follows, viz. : — 

1. Widening, straightening, and deepening the Main Ship Chan- 
nel at and near the south-west point of Lovell's Island, so as to 
have a depth of 23 feet at mean low water (or about 32 J feet at 
ordinary high water) , for a width of not less than 600 feet, requir- 
ing about 30,000 cubic yards of dredging. 

2. Breaking up and removing about 290 cubic yards of sunken 
ledge lying in the Main Ship Channel at the Upper Middle Bar, 
and near Kelly's Rock ; and, 

3. The removal of numerous sunken rocks (bowlders and 
ledge) scattered over Nash's Rock Shoal, situated in the entrance 
of Boston Harbor, so as to have a depth of not less than 21 feet 
throughout at mean low water, giving an increase of about 6 feet 
over its shoalest parts. 

On the 2d of June last a contract was made with the New 
England Dredging Company, of Boston, Mass. (the lowest of 
eight bidders) , for the dredging required at and near the south- 
west point of Lovell's Island at 24 cents per cubic yard, as meas- 
ured in the scows. This work was commenced on the 19th of 
June, and was satisfactorily completed on the 27th of September, 
1877. 



78 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



This improvement, together with the dredging completed in 
1875 at the south-east point of Lovell's Island, and that in 1876 
at the west end of Great Brewster Spit and at the Upper Middle 
Bar, finishes all the dredging hitherto projected for the improve- 
ment of this harbor, from its entrance up to Anchorage Shoal, 
giving a channel not less than 600 feet in width, and 23 feet in 
depth at mean low water (or about 32J feet at ordinary high 
water), except where obstructed by the sunken ledges recently 
discovered near Kelly's Rock, and in the Upper Middle Channel, 
yet to be removed. 

The sunken ledge in the Upper Middle Channel (which was 
laid bare last season by dredging) contains 81 \ cubic yards of 
rock to be broken up and removed, in order to obtain the project- 
ed depth of 23 feet at mean low water : for the accomplishment of 
which a contract was made, June 4, 1877, with Mr. George W. 
Townsend, of Boston Mass. (the lowest of two bidders), at $65 
per cubic yard as measured in its bed, the work to be completed 
next season. This same contract also provides for the breaking up 
and removal of about 200 cubic yards of the sunken ledge near 
Kelly's Rock, at $50 per cubic yard as measured in its bed, also 
to be completed next season. The contractor commenced opera- 
tions on the 15th of June last, upon the ledges above (to the 
westward of) Kelly's Rock, requiring the removal of 26^ 2 o cubic 
yards, for obtaining the projected depth of 23 feet at mean low 
water, and completed the same on the 18th of August last ; since 
which time he has been at work on one of the ledge-spurs below 
Kelly's Rock, containing about 180 cubic yards to be removed for 
obtaining the required depth. Owing to the very unfavorable 
weather for these operations, in such an exposed position, the 
progress made has been much less than would have been expected 
from the experience of previous years ; 50 cubic yards, only, of 
that ledge-spur having been broken up, and removed down to 
grade, at this date. This work has been suspended till next 
season, when better progress ma}' be hoped for. 

The work for the improvement of Nash's Rock Shoal was com- 
menced on the 4th of September last, and continued until the 8th 
of November, when, owing to the very windy weather and strong 
currents in that exposed position, it was suspended till next 
season. This work was done by a submarine party, with a vessel 
and crew hired by the day, by which about 320 tons of large 
bowlders have been removed during the season, leaving about 40 
tons only to be removed for the completion of the work, next 
season. By the operations of the past season, this shoal has been 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 79 

so far improved, that on its shoalest parts there is now a depth of 
18 J feet at mean low water, being an increase of over 3 feet. 

Sea- Walls. — In addition to the several works above referred to, 
sea-walls have been built for the protection and preservation of 
the headlands in this harbor, at Point Allerton, Great Brewster 
Island, Lovell's Island, (north head and south-east bluff), Gal- 
lop's Island, Long Island (north head), and Deer Island (north, 
middle and south heads) . All these sea-walls, with the exception 
of that on the south-east bluff of Lovell's Island, and those on 
Deer Island, are in good condition ; all the most necessan- repairs 
having been made on them, excepting on the one at the south- 
east bluff of Lovell's Island. For raising and repairing this wall, 
as now contemplated, an appropriation was asked for in my last 
annual report. 

Sunken Mocks. — The removal of Kelly's Rock, Tower Rock, 
Cor win Rock, the rocks recently discovered at the west end of 
Great Brewster Spit, and between there and George's Island, — 
all situated in the Main Ship Channel at " the Narrows," — have 
been removed to a depth of 23 feet at mean low water, as stated 
in my last annual report. Barrel Rock in Broad Sound, State 
and Palmyra rocks, about one-half a mile east of Castle Island, 
have also been removed. So that the only work that now remains 
to be done for completing all the work hitherto projected for the 
improvement of this harbor consists of the following, to wit : — 

1. Removal of 81£ cubic yards of sunken ledge in the Upper 



Middle Channel, now contracted for, at 865 per cubic yard $5,297 50 

2. Completing the .removal of 181^ cubic yards of sunken 
ledge below Kelly's Rock now contracted for, at 850 per 

cubic yard 9,075 00 

3. Breaking and removing 150 cubic yards of sunken ledge, 
additional, below Kelly's Rock (recently discovered), at say 

850 per cubic yard 7,500 00 

4. Completing the improvement of Xash's Rock Shoal, say 1,000 00 

5. Raising and repairing the sea-wall on the south-east bluff 

of Lovell's Island, estimated at 15,000 00 

6. Deepening Man-of-War Shoal by dredging, at an estimated 

cost (for 65,000 cubic yards of dredging), say . . 39,000 00 

7. Engineering expenses and other contingencies, say . 8,904 22 

Total 885,776 72 

Balance of appropriation available for above works, Dec. 31, 

1877 25,776 72 



Additional amount required for completing all the works 

hitherto projected for the improvement of this harbor . 860,000 00 



80 H ARB OK COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



The above estimates do not include the improvement of Anchor- 
age Shoal (next above the Upper Middle) , now the only remain- 
ing obstacle to the free passage of ocean steamers and other deep- 
draught vessels from the ocean up to the inner harbor of Boston, 
in all stages of the tide. 

A recent survey of this shoal shows that it has a very irregular 
shape, and extends into the Main Channel chiefly from the East 
Boston and Bird Island flats, having on its shoalest part but 15 J- 
feet of water at mean low water (or about 25 feet at ordinary high 
water) ; that the greatest depth that can be carried over its south- 
ern part is 22 feet at mean low water for a width of about 350 feet, 
or 21 feet for a width of about 500 feet. To open the channel to 
a depth of 23 feet at mean low water, for a width of 900 feet (the 
least width that is adequate for this part of the channel) would 
require about 85,000 cubic yards of dredging over an area of about 
80,000 square } T ards of the shoal, the estimated cost of which, at 62 
cents per cubic yard, is (including contingencies), say $60,000; 
or, for a width of 1,100 feet, over an area of about 130,000 square 
yards, about 130,000 cubic yards of dredging, the estimated cost 
of which is (including contingencies) say $90,000. 

The improvement of the channel at this shoal has hitherto been 
included in the project of the Board of Harbor Commissioners of 
the State of Massachusetts, for the reclamation of South Boston 
flats (now in part approaching completion), as shown in their 
report and accompanying drawings for January, 1868, — it having 
been supposed that the material to be excavated would be wanted 
for filling those flats, back of the projected sea-walls. Some 
portion of the area between Anchorage Shoal and the sea-wall has 
already been excavated in accordance with the original project ; 
but there is now no prospect, I learn, that the material forming 
Anchorage Shoal will be required for back filling for many }-ears 
to come, if at all. Under these circumstances, and owing to the 
importance of having this improvement completed at as early a 
da}- as practicable, there appears to be no reason why it should 
not properly and consistently be done b}* the United States Gov- 
ernment, in furtherance and completion of the work now so nearly 
accomplished for the permanent improvement of this important 
harbor. 

II. Improvement of Merrimac River, Massachusetts. 

The project adopted for the improvement of this river consists 
in deepening it by dredging, and the removal of sunken rocks, so 
that it shall have a channel 12 feet in depth at ordinary high- 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 88. 



81 



water from its mouth at Xewburyport, Mass., np to Haverhill, 
Mass., — a distance of fifteen miles ; and thence for a distance of 
about four miles up through " the falls," — a depth of four feet in 
the ordinary stages of the river. 

During the past season, with the small available balance on 
hand, the channel of this river has been very much improved near 
Silby's Island, about one mile below Haverhill, by the removal of 
a large number of sunken bowlders, which had hitherto been dan- 
gerous and serious obstructions to navigation. This completes 
all work now projected for the improvement of this river above 
Xewburvport. For completing the contemplated improvement of 
the harbor of Xewburyport, an additional appropriation of 825,- 
000 was again asked for in ray last annual report, no appropriation 
having been made therefor by Congress in its last River and Har- 
bor Act of Aug. 14, 1876. 

III. Improvement of Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts. 

The work projected for the further improvement of this harbor 
has been suspended since July, 1876, no appropriation having 
been made therefor by Congress since then. 

IV. Improvement of Provincetown Harbor. Massachusetts. 

The work projected for the preservation and further improvement 
of this harbor, under the appropriation of $4,000 made by Congress 
in the River and Harbor Act of Aug. 14. 1876, consisted of — 

1. Raising and extending the stone bulkhead on the extremity 
of Long Point, the stone therefor to be furnished by contract ; 
and 

2. Repairs of the bulkheads and jetties at Beach Point and Cove 
Section, and of the dikes at High Head and Abel Hill where 
necessary, and planting beach-grass on the outer beach, this work 
to be done by men hired by the day. 

The two contracts for furnishing all the large and small stone 
required for raising and extending the stone bulkhead on the east- 
ern extremity of Long Point were completed in September last, 
under which 1,860 gross tons of stone were delivered and placed 
upon the work, in completion of the same to the extent now con- 
templated. 

During the past month (December) , all the repairs have been 
completed, where necessary, upon the works at Cove Section, 
High Head, and elsewhere. 

All the works, therefore, that have been projected for the pres- 
ervation and improvement of this harbor are now completed, and 
are as follows : — 
11 



82 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



1. Bulkheads and jetties of various descriptions have been built 
from time to time along Beach Point, for its preservation and pro- 
tection, both by the United States Government and by the local 
authorities. 

2. A dike was built in 1868 and 1869 by the State of Massa- 
chusetts across the outlet of East Harbor Creek. 

3. A dike was built in 1868 and 1869 by the United States 
Government across East Harbor Creek, at the Wading Place, 
near High Head, about two miles above the outlet of the creek. 

4. Wooden bulkheads and jetties have been built at different 
times for the protection and preservation of the beach on Long 
Point. 

5. A stone bulkhead has been completed for the protection and 
preservation of the outer end of Long Point, the light-house, and 
three-gun battery. 

6. A dike (272 feet in length) was built in 1871-2 across the 
head of Lancey's Harbor, near Abel Hill. 

7. Beach-grass planted on Beach Point, Long Point, Abel Hill, 
Cove Section, and Oblique Section ; and At the last two places 
brush has also been laid for their further protection. 

8. The projected extensions of the several jetties on Beach 
Point and State Dike have been completed. 

8. A bulkhead and six jetties, built in 1874 for the preservation 
and protection of the beach at Cove Section, near High Head, 
where encroached upon by the extraordinary gales of November, 
1873, and Januaiy, 1874. This bulkhead is 607 feet in length, 
and the jetties have an aggregate length of 126 feet. They con- 
sist of a framework filled with brush and ballasted with stone. 

All the above-described works are now in excellent condition, 
and have fully answered the purpose for which they were designed. 
They will, however, require continual watching and occasional 
repairs, exposed as they are to injury from the violent storms 
which at times occur in that localit} 7 . For this purpose an addi- 
tional appropriation of $1,000 has been asked. 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



83 



[C] 

ABSTRACT OF REPORT OF GEN. G. K. WARREN 

TO 

Chief of U. S. Engineers, for 1877. 



B 1. 

HYANNIS HARBOR, MASSACHUSETTS. 

The history of the improvement in this harbor, the condition of 
the breakwater, and the necessity for further appropriation to com- 
plete the repairs, are given in 1113* report for 1875. (See report of 
the Chief of the Engineers for 1875, Part II., pp. 266-268.) 

Nothing has been done during the fiscal year because of the 
small amount of mone}' available. The work does not appear to 
have sustained any notable injury during the year, but it needs 
strengthening at the base ; and it is for this purpose that a further 
appropriation is required. The estimate for repairs made by me 
in 1874 was $25,000 : of this, but $15,000 have been appropriated. 

The light-house should be rebuilt, and placed on the east end of the 
breakwater, as has been, suggested in previous reports. 

Hyannis is in the Barnstable collection-district. Barnstable is the near- 
est port of entry. The amount of revenue collected there in the year ending 
June 30, 1877, is not known to this office. 

Money Statement. 

July 1, 1876, amount available, $42 94 

July 1, 1877, amount available, , 42 94 

Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing pro- 
ject, 10,000 00 

Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending 

June 30, 1879, , , . . 10,000 00 

B 2, 

WAREHAM HARBOR, MASSACHUSETTS, 

A survey of this harbor was made in 1871, and a plan of im- 
provement, including the removal of a ledge and bowlders at the 



9 



84 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 

mouth of the Weweantic River, with estimate of cost, was sub- 
mitted in December of that year by Gen. George Thorn, lieuten- 
ant-colonel of engineers. 

This plan of improvement was for a channel 250 feet in width 
through Quahaug Bar, and 9 feet deep at mean low water, requir- 
ing the removal of 41,260 cubic yards ; and also the widening and 
straightening of the channel below the Franconia Iron Works, 
requiring the removal of 45,300 cubic yards. The total of 86,560 
3'ards was estimated to cost at the rate of 45 cents per cubic 



yard : — 

86,560 cubic yards, at 45 cents, . $38,952 

Contingencies, ' . 3,048 

Removing ledge and bowlders at Weweantic, .... 3,000 

Total, . - $45,000 



By Act of Congress approved June 10, 1872, $10,000 was appro- 
priated for this work. The work came under my charge June 30, 
1872. 

A contract for dredging at 34^ cents per cubic yard was made 
after duly advertising for proposals. Congress, by Act approved 
March 3, 1873, appropriated $10,000 for continuing the improve- 
ment. A contract for continuing the work was made under this 
appropriation at 36| cents per cubic yard. Under these contracts 
there was removed : — 

Cubic Yards. 

At Quahaug Bar, 21,862 

At Upper Harbor and up to the wharves, 24,901 

Total 46,763 

Also one bowlder weighing about 28 tons. 

During the progress of this improvement another survey was 
made of the harbor, from which a revised estimate was submitted. 
The report upon this survey is printed in the report of the Chief 
of Engineers for 1874, pp. 216-220. 

The amount of this revised estimate was $20,000 in addition to 
what had alread} 7 been expended ; it called for the removal of 41,- 
186 cubic yards from different parts of the channel, and for the 
removal of rocks to the amount of $3,000 at " Four Buoys," near 
the entrance to the harbor, although this place had not been 
included in our surveys. 

By Act of Congress approved June 23, 1874, $10,000 was appro- 
priated. A contract was made for continuing the improvement at 
20 cents per cubic yard, under which 43,514 cubic yards were 
removed. By Act of Congress approved March 3, 1875, $10,000 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 85 

were appropriated for this work. A contract was made at the rate 
of 20 cents per cubic yard. Under this contract, 33,397 cubic 
yards were removed. 

The whole quantity dredged in this harbor has been : — 

Cubic Yards. 



Up to 1874, : 46,7(53 

In 1875, 43,514 

In 1876, ... . . . ' 33,397 

Total, 123,674 



This quantity is nearly 50 per cent more than was estimated for, 
which we were enabled to do on account of the price per yard 
being less than estimated. The channel made is from 250 to 300 
feet wide, and 10 feet deep at mean low water from Long Beach, 
at the entrance of the harbor, up to the upper bar ; thence to the 
bridge at the upper end of the harbor it is from 100 to 300 feet in 
width, and 9 feet deep at mean low water. 

During the past fiscal year a surve} 7 was made at the "Four 
Buoys," where the channel into the harbor passes near a rocky 
point, which lies about 4,000 feet outside of Long Beach. The 
channel here, for a distance of about 600 feet, is about 200 feet in 
width, with a depth of from 13 to 16 feet at mean low water. On 
either side of this channel are numerous bowlders of varying sizes, 
lying on the bottom, the removal of which would be attended with 
an expense far in excess of the benefit to be derived. 

We could not learn that any vessel had ever struck them to 
cause an} 7 great damage to themselves. The channel through this 
reef is marked by four buoys, two at each end. A straight line 
drawn between the two buoys on the left side of the channel would 
leave some bowlders on the channel side ; but, as neither the flood 
nor the ebb tide sets on this point, it is not regarded as an impor- 
tant matter. The pilots say, 14 We always give the black buoys a 
good berth coining in," and therefore they have not struck the 
rocks outside of the line. Above and below the "Four Buoys" 
there is a good "beating" channel. A map accompanies this 
report, showing the improvement, and the channel at "Four 
Buoys." 

The formation of Quahaug Bar, just inside of Long Beach, is by 
some people attributed to the sand carried over the beach in storms 
from the shoal outside. While this may not be the sole cause of 
the bar, there is a large amount of sand deposited there from this 
source. To prevent this, it is proposed to use the available funds 
in building a brush fence along the beach, weighting it with stone 
found above low-water outside of the beach. This fence is 



86 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [.Fan. 



designed to raise the beach above high- water, and by .arresting this 
sand to hold it there permanently. 

This improvement will then be completed ; and no further appro- 
priation is needed, unless a greater capacity of harbor shall be 
required than when the plan was adopted. 

Wareham is a port of delivery. It is in the New Bedford collection-dis- 
trict, and New Bedford is the nearest port of entry. The amount of reve- 
nue collected there during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1876, was $9,- 
710.04. 

Money Statement. 

July 1, 1876, amount available, $7,024 78 

July 1, 1877, amount expended during fiscal year, . . . 4,967 04 

July 1, 1877, amount available, < . $2,057 74 



B 3. 

NEW BEDFORD HARBOR, MASSACHUSETTS. 

The survey upon which the plan and estimate for the improve- 
ments were based was made in the summer of 1874, and the 
report submitted Nov. 30, 1874. This was printed as part of H. 
Ex. Doc. 75, Part III., Forty-third Congress, second session ; and 
in the Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers for 1875, Part 
II., pp. 283-285. 

With the appropriation of $10,000 made by Act of Congress 
approved March 3, 1875, a channel 105 feet wide and 15 feet deep 
at mean low water was made from the deep water near Fairhaven 
wharves to the deep water at the New Bedford wharves. The line 
of the new channel was slightly changed from the first design to 
get better ranges. 

The appropriation of $10,000 made by Act of Congress ap- 
proved Aug. 14, 1876, was not made available until April 30, 
1877. Advertisement inviting proposals was made May 8, 1877; 
and on the 8th of June the following were received : — 



1878.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



87 



Abstract of Proposals received at the Engineer Office, United States 
Army, Newport, Rhode Island, Jane 8, 1877, at 10, a.m., for 
Dredging in New Bedford Harbor, Massachusetts, 







-3 






h 






h 












bic y 










Xanie and address of bidder. 


o 


Commence. 


Complete. 














^ .2 






Dh 






c 3 


= 




o 
u 






£ 3 

°- « 


p 




15 






<& 






Cents. 








1 


W. H. Molthrop, Xcw London, 














10} 


" Soon as required," 


Xovember 30, . 


87,805 


2 


H. X. & A. J. Beard-Jey, 










Bridgeport, Conn., 
T. C. Jetters, Albany, X.Y., . 
Morris P. Brainard, Albany, 

X.Y., 


11| 


August 1, . 


December!, 


78,260 


3 


13 


June 20, . 


Xovember 30, . 


69,231 


4 












™l 


Julyl, . . . 


Xovember 30, . 


64,864 


5 


Providence Dredging Compa- 






ny, Providence, R.I. , . 
Jobn H. Fenner, Albany, X.Y., 


15 


June 20, . 


Xovember 30, . 


60,000 


6 


17 


June 20, . 


Xovember 30, . 


52,941 


7 


Morris & Cummings Dredging 










Co., Xew York City, . 


20 




Xovember 30, . 


45,000 


8 


William Flannery, Xew York 












23 


June 20, . 


Xovember 30, . 


39,130 



The contract was awarded to William H. Molthrop, of New London, 
Conn. 

In my last annual report on this work I recommended an addi- 
tional appropriation of S4,000, to complete the improvement in 
accordance with the original plan and estimate. The low price at 
which the work has been contracted for this year will, it is thought, 
enable us to complete the improvement with the present appropri- 
ation. 

New Bedford is in the New Bedford collection-district, and is a port of 
entry. The amount of revenue collected there in the fiscal year ending June 
30, 1876, was $9,710.04. 

Money Statement. 

July 1, 1876, amount available, $73 87 

Amount appropriated by Act approved August 14, 1876, . . 10,000 00 



$10,073 87 

July 1, 1877, amount expended during fiscal year, . . . 419 27 



July 1, 1877, amount available, $9,654 60 



B 4. 

TAUNTON RIVER, MASSACHUSETTS. 

The only work done on this improvement since the end of the 
last fiscal year has been the removal of 93.18 cubic yards of rock 
from Peter's Point and the 44 Nook." 



88 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



To make the channel so as to allow vessels of 9 feet draught to 
reach Taunton at high water without difficulty will require the 
dredging of a sand-bar above Berkley Bridge, and the removal of 
isolated bowlders between the " Needles " and Wickamount. The 
least width in the cuts is 60 feet. 

Sixty thousand dollars have been appropriated and spent for this 
river. The $5,000 now asked for is an increase above my former 
estimate for accomplishing the object intended, owing to the dis- 
covery of more obstructions. 

A history of this improvement may be found in Annual Report 
of Chief of Engineers for 1876, Part L, pp. 205, 206, and in 
Annual Report for 1875, Part II., p. 285. 

Taunton is in the Fall River collection-district, and that place is the near- 
est port of entry. The amount of revenue collected there during the fiscal 
year ending June 30, 1876, was $6,372.35. The business done in Taunton 
River is large. 

Money Statement. 

July 1, 1876, amount available $1,205 90 

July 1, 1877, amount expended during fiscal year . . . . 1,104 97 

July 1, 1877, amount available $100 93 

Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project 5,000 00 
Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending 

June 30, 1879 5,000 00 



B 5. 

FALL RIVER HARBOR, MASSACHUSETTS. 

At the beginning of the fiscal year the amount available for this 
work was $597.55. By Act of Congress approved August 14, 
1876, $10,000 was appropriated for it. This appropriation was 
not made available until April 30, 1877. 

. Advertisements inviting proposals were issued May 8, and on 
June 8 the following were received : — 



1878.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



89 



Abstract of Proposals received at the Engineer Office, United States 
Army, Newport, Rhode Island, June 8, 1877, at 10, a.m., for 
Dredging in Fall River Harbor, Massachusetts. 



u 

0> 

a 


Name and address of 

UiUUti • 


! 

Price per cubic yard 
dredging. 




Price per cubic yard! 
rock. 


Average on basis 2 
per cent rock. 


Commence. 


Complete. 


$9,000 will pay for 
cubic yards. 


i 

2 
3 
4 
5 
6 


J. H. Fenner, Albany, N. Y., 
William Flannery, New York 

William H. Maltbrop, New 
London, Conn., . 

Morris & Cumings Dredg- 
ing Co., New York .City,* . 

Morris F Brainard, Albany, 
N. Y 

T. C. Jeffers, Albany, N. Y., 


$0 55 
73 

J 93 
98 

75 

1 50 


$8 40 

8 50 

93 
98 

13 00 

.7 00 


.707 

.8854 

.93 

.98 

.9950 

1.61 


Juno 20, . 

Juno 20, . 
{ Soon as j 
/ required. ) 

June 20, . 

July 1, • 
June 20, . 


Nov. 30, 

Nov. 30, 
Nov. 30, 
Nov. 30, 

Nov. 30, 

Nov. 30, 


12,729+ 

10,167 
9,677 
9,1831 

9,046 

5,590 



* Provided bowlers do not exceed 2 per cent. 



A contract has been made with the lowest bidder, John H. Fenner, of 
Albany, N.Y. 

In the plan submitted for the improvement of this harbor, in 
report dated Dec. 31, 1873 (see Annual Report of the Chief of 
Engineers for 1874, pp. 284-286, Part II.), the estimated cost 
was $45,000, and 830,000 has been appropriated. 

The prices at which the work has been done have been so much 
less than estimated, that the funds now available will complete the 
improvement as designed, should the bowlders not be more numer- 
ous than they have been in the part of the channel already deep- 
ened. The improvement designed was to make a channel to and 
along the wharves 12 feet deep at mean low water, the mean tide 
being 4 feet. This channel is to be about 100 feet wide in the 
middle, widening to 300 feet at each end. Before it was begun 
the depth varied from 5 to 12 feet. 

Fall River is in Fall River collection-district, and is a port of entry. 
The amount of revenue collected there during the fiscal year ending June 
30, 1876, was $6,372.25. 

Money Statement. 

July 1, 1876, amount available, $597 55 

Amount appropriated by Act approved Aug. 14, 1876, . . . 10,000 00 



$10 597 55 

July 1, 1877, amount expended during fiscal year, . . . 341 08 



July 1, 1877, amount available 
12 



$10,256 47 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT 



.No. 33. 



ANNUAL REPORT 



OF THE 



Board of Harbor Commissioners 



FOR 



THE TEAR 1878. 



BOSTON : 
Eanti, &fors, & £0., printers to tje CommonfoHatJ, 

117 Franklin Street. 
1878. 



€ommontocaltli of illassacbusette. 



HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. 



T o the Honorable the Senate and the Home of Representatives of the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts. 

The Board of Harbor Commissioners, in accordance with 
the provisions of law, respectfully submit their Annual Report 
for the year 1878. 

South Boston Flats. 

The substantial completion of work under the Clapp and 
Ballou contracts was announced in the last Annual Report. 
The possession of the filled territory has been transferred 
to the Land Commissioners, together with all personal prop- 
erty of the Commonwealth used in connection with the work 
of reclamation. A tabular statement of the precise location 
of points, which was not completed at the time of the last 
report, with plan illustrating the same, will be found in the 
Appendix. 

The contractors' claims for extras, damages, &c, which 
were under examination at the time of the last report, seemed 
to the Commissioners entirely untenable as to the principal 
items, and they were unable to adjust the same with the con- 
tractors ; but all items which seemed to them to have any 
equitable foundation, amounting to $4,548.81, were allowed 
and paid. A petition was then presented by the contractors to 
the Governor and Council, who were the arbiters provided by 
the contract, submitting a claim for the items disallowed by 



4 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



the Commissioners, amounting to $201,709.41. While this 
petition was pending, and before hearing upon its merits, a 
board of arbitrators was created by chap. 281 of the Acts of 
1878, and authority given to the Harbor Commissioners to 
join the contractors in a submission of the claims in question 
to the board thus established. It was supposed, at the time 
of the passage of the Act, that the hearing before the arbi- 
trators would proceed at once in the month of June. Mr. 
Philbrick the engineer, and Mr. Osgood the inspector, who 
had been retained in service during the investigation of the 
claim by the board, were continued till the 1st of July, in 
expectation of an early assignment of the hearing. Diffi- 
culties arising out of proceedings in bankruptcy against the 
contractors continued to prevent the execution of the sub- 
mission ; and the board did not feel justified in continuing the 
employment of Messrs. Philbrick and Osgood, in view of the 
entire uncertainty when the submission could proceed. The 
proceedings in bankruptcy were dismissed on the 20th of 
September ; and the board were immediately afterward 
informed by the counsel for the contractors of the removal 
of all obstacles to the submission, and of their readiness to 
proceed. The illness and death of Judge Thomas, the coun- 
sel for the board, occasioned some further delay in perfecting 
the formal submission ; but, on the 16th of October, the sub- 
mission agreement, in the form as it had been approved by 
Judge Thomas, was executed. Other counsel approved by the 
Governor and Council, were employed; and the arbitrators 
assigned the 16th of January, 1879, for the commencement 
of the hearing. Immediately after this assignment, the board 
communicated with Mr. Osgood, then in the employ of the 
Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad Company, and were 
surprised to learn that it would not be practicable to secure 
his presence East before spring, by reason of the pressure of 
his employment at the West. Mr. Osgood's intimate knowl- 
edge of all the details of the work out of which the claims 
in question arise renders his presence at the hearing of great 
importance ; and, if it were to proceed to a conclusion in his 
absence, the Commonwealth's interests would be at great dis- 
advantage. It may be necessary for this reason to extend 
the time within which the arbitrators' award must be returned 
to the court under the provisions of the Act before cited. 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



5 



The failure of the Boston and Albany Railroad Company 
to complete the filling of the 50 acres purchased of the State 
by them, and to construct the sea wall in front of the same, 
hinders the progress of the harbor improvement contem- 
plated by the entire reclamation ; but the Commonwealth hav- 
ing completed the 25-acre parcel, it is hoped that steps will 
be taken by the company to proceed to the completion of the 
wall and the dredging required of them, without further 
delay. 

Dredging in Boston Upper Harbor. 

The dredging in progress upon the shoal ground off East 
Boston frontage, at the time of the last Annual Report under 
contract with W. S. Fretch & Co., has been completed. 
Dredging has been continued upon the same shoal within the 
year, which has further extended the area of 23 feet depth, 
at mean low tide, one hundred and fifty-five thousand five 
hundred and seventy (155,570) square feet. The contract 
for this dredging was made with Charles Woolley & Co., on 
the 26th day of June ; and the work was completed, and 
tested by soundings made by the engineer of the board, on 
the 13th day of December. The contract price was $ 9,909, 
the contractor taking all risk of quantities and character 
of the material. The amount of earth removed from the 
shoal, as measured in bank by the board, was 36,000 cubic 
yards. The material removed was placed upon the Com- 
monwealth flats at South Boston. The work under this 
contract was executed in a manner entirely satisfactory to 
the board, and creditable to the contractors. 

The removal of the shoal at East Boston has already 
proved a most timely aid in the provision of facilities for the 
increased number of foreign steamers of large draft. The 
removal was not commenced too soon, nor has it proceeded 
more rapidly than the actual demands of commerce have 
required. It has illustrated the great advantage to the 
harbor of a fund from which expenditure can be made in 
the intermediate ground between what may be left to indi- 
vidual enterprise and what may be expected from the general 
government. 



6 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



Re-survey of the Wharf Lines of Boston Upper 

Harbor. 

Since the last Annual Report, the re-survey of Boston 
Upper Harbor has been continued to a satisfactory comple- 
tion of the field work within the limits contemplated with the 
special appropriation provided. There remains some work in 
the completion of maps and extending soundings, which will 
be made in connection with the regular office work of the 
Board, without further special appropriation. 

The character and purposes of the re-survey have been 
indicated in former reports of the Board for 1876 and 1877. 
Among the essential auxiliaries to the studies and work of 
the commission are accurate maps and plans, which must be 
kept up, or renewed from time to time as data from them are 
required. In providing for this necessity by the present 
re-survey, the occasion presented an opportunity to establish 
a system of survey which should secure accuracy in deter- 
mination, and uniformity in detail, and furnish bases and ref- 
erences which would facilitate and economize the execution 
of future re-surveys, and at the same time give exact com- 
parison of results. The Board were unanimous in adopting 
the system of geodetic survey which obtains in the United 
States Coast Survey. There were no means of securing this 
result so advantageously as by the co-operation of that 
department; which was satisfactorily arranged with its super- 
intendent, Hon. C. P. Patterson. 

As will be seen by reference to the report of Mr. Francis 
Blake, jun., assistant in the Coast Survey, in the Appendix, 
the extent and cost of the triangulation have exceeded the 
original estimates made for it; but the work has also exceeded 
the original plan in comprehensiveness, and has furnished bases 
and data of great present and prospective value. The loss of 
the triangulation stations of the Coast Survey within the city 
by the change and rebuilding of spires and conspicuous build- 
ings, and the destruction of markings upon the hills and 
islands which surround the city, is a proof and admonition of 
the importance of establishing numerous and securely- 
marked points of reference, and providing for their protec- 
tion. As stated in Mr. Blake's report, the main points in 
the new triangulation have been marked by granite posts 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 7 



and copper bolts. These stations are upon commanding 
sites overlooking the city, and include the summits of Blue 
Hill in Milton, Prospect Hill in Waltham, Powderhorn Hill 
in Chelsea, Winthrop Head, Breed's Hill, Governor's Island, 
&c. Besides these points, many spires, cupolas, factory chim- 
neys, &c, have been determined within the city. The total 
number of points determined by triangulation amounts to 
67. The more general knowledge of the existence of these 
points, their more conspicuous marking, and the frequent 
future use which will probably be made of them, will tend to 
their preservation. 

The topographical work of the re-survey has been executed 
by Mr. William E. McClintock, formerly of the United States 
Coast Survey, and has been under the general supervision 
of Professor Henry L. Whiting of that department. The 
instrument used, the "plane table," and the mode of work 
adopted, are those which are standard in the Coast Survey. 
The scale and measurements of the re-survey conform to the 
metric system which obtains in the Coast Survey. The re- 
sults are given upon a series of twelve original plane-table 
sheets, which are each about thirty by fifty-two inches in size. 
Eleven of these sheets are on the scale of yoVo' anc ^ cover 
the wharf lines of the Upper Harbor, including Fort Point 
Channel, the South Boston sea walls and clock, the east and 
north water-face of the city proper, Charles River from the 
Navy Yard to West Boston Bridge, Chelsea Creek from the 
Navy Yard to Meridian Street and Chelsea Bridges, with 
the improvements of the Lowell Railroad Company and the 
south channel of Mystic River, and the water-face of East 
Boston as far as it is improved. One sheet, on a scale of 
2 includes the shore-lines of Cambridge basin, between 
West Boston and Brookline Bridges. As stated in the report 
of Professor Whiting, in the Appendix, upon these sheets are 
shown all required details along the harbor frontage, with 
measurements connecting them with the points and corners 
in the marginal streets, which are also established points in 
the framework of the city determined by its engineers. 

Besides the triangulation and topography, a series of 
soundings have been made along the city frontage, which 
show the depth of water in each dock, and at the end of each 
pier, and beyond the general pier-line, for a distance of 60 
feet into the channel. 



8 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



This work also includes the hydrographical re-survey of 
Fort Point Channel from Eastern Avenue to Dover Street 
Bridge. The former harbor surveys have not included these 
details; and the Board has had no previous reliable data con- 
cerning the commercial capacity of the city docks and piers. 
By a closer degree of economy in the execution of the topo- 
graphical part of the survey than was at first deemed practi- 
cable, the results of this work have nearly if not quite come 
up to the original project for it, and cover most of the wharf- 
lines of the Upper Harbor at present utilized in important 
commerce. 

One of the special purposes to which the data of the re- 
survey will be applied is the study of the harbor lines with 
a view to a re-statement, or of such re-determination and 
modification, of the existing lines as their uncertain and 
defective condition may require. Upon completion of the 
maps, and a careful study of all the results of the re-survey, 
the Board expect to present a re-statement of the lines which 
may be more safely embodied in legislation than any which 
they are now prepared to propose. As stated in the report 
of 1876, the present harbor lines were established by various 
and independent acts of the Legislature, some of them dating 
back over 40 years. During this lapse of time many of 
the original reference points have been lost by the oblitera- 
tion of old landmarks and in the changes occasioned by the 
erection of new structures, many of which were authorized 
without due regard to the prescribed harbor boundaries. 
These changes occurred prior to the establishment of the per- 
manent commission in 1866, since which time no important 
encroachments have been made. 



Green Harbor River. 

A bill in equity has been brought by the attorney-general, 
under the provisions of chap. 219 of the Acts of 1877, to 
compel the parties liable under chap. 303 of the Acts of 
1871 to remove the shoaling occasioned in the channel of 
Green Harbor River. The bill was filed in May last, and is 
still pending. Nothing has occurred to change the views 
of the Commissioners expressed in previous reports in relation 
to the injuries to this harbor arising from the erection of the 
dike. 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No*. 33. 



9 



Scituate Harbor. 

The condition of Scituate Harbor has enlisted the active 
interest of the citizens of that town, and of several organi- 
zations interested in the safety of vessels approaching Bos- 
ton; and a strong movement has been made to induce the 
United States to make an appropriation for the improvement 
of the entrance. Hon. George Lunt, now a resident of Scitu- 
ate, has collected and presented much valuable information 
in relation to the history of the harbor and its use as a port 
of refuge. A memorial of this Board in aid of the move- 
ment has been presented to Congress, a copy of which will be 
found in the Appendix. Congress has already ordered a sur- 
vey of the harbor, which has been made under the direction 
of Gen. Thom of the U. S. Engineer Department. 

State Supervision of Harbors. 

The Commonwealth has always claimed extended rights 
in, and control over, tide-water. The duties growing out 
of the rights and control thus claimed have not been denied. 
The present system of preserving and developing public in- 
terests in the harbors of the Commonwealth was of slow 
growth, from a series of experiments and studies which it 
may be of use to review briefly in any new study of methods 
of administration which the depressed condition of business 
may occasion. 

The colony ordinance of 1641 attests early legislative at- 
tention to the relation of private and public interests in the 
sea and lands under tide-water. By that ordinance the rule 
of common law, which gave to the State exclusive owner- 
ship below high water, was so far reversed, that private title 
was made to extend one hundred rods into the sea from high- 
water mark, or to low water when not more than that distance. 
There has been no more radical change in the law affecting 
this public interest than that caused by the ordinance in 
question. It complicated the problem of preserving and 
developing the interests of the public, and has been fruitful 
in occasion for legislation and in litigation ; but it vested 
rights beyond recall. 

Statutes for the protection of the different harbors of the 



10 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



Commonwealth, and in relation to the erection of structures 
in tide-water, were frequent from the adoption of the con- 
stitution ; but the growth of the State, and the increased use 
of its principal harbors, early induced the Legislature to make 
use of other agencies to secure more systematic and complete 
knowledge of the needs of such harbors, and what could be 
safely permitted in the construction of wharves and other 
structures therein. 

; Under a resolve of March 5, 1835, a commission consisting 
of Loammi Baldwin, S. Thayer, and James Hay ward, all 
engineers of high attainments, was appointed by Gov. Davis 
" To cause a survey to be taken of such portions of the har- 
bor of Boston as are comprised between Boston South Bridge 
and the dam of the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation, 
including the wharves and flats of East Boston and of 
Charlestown ; and to define, upon a plan or plans, such lines 
as they shall think it expedient to establish, beyond which 
no wharves shall be extended into and over the tide-water 
of the Commonwealth on either side of said harbor ; and 
report their doings to the Governor and Council. The com- 
mission thus appointed occupied nearly two years in the 
work assigned them; and submitted their report Jan. 30, 
1837, in which they state forcible reasons why the full enjoy- 
ment of the rights thought to be given by the ordinance of 
1641 would be inconsistent with the existence of the harbor. 
Chap. 229 of the Acts of 1837, establishing a harbor-line for 
the principal front in Boston Harbor, was based upon the 
report of this commission ; and the line then established has 
continued without material alteration to the present time, 
though some of its points have become difficult of location 
from the destruction or change of structures then used for 
reference-points. It is believed, however, that when the 
results of the latest re-survey are fully extended upon the 
maps, little more will be found necessary than a re-statement 
of the old line by reference to new monuments more easily 
ascertained. 

Two years later, under a resolve of April 9, 1839, a 
second commission, consisting of H. A. S. Dearborn, James 
F. Baldwin, and Caleb Eddy, was appointed to define such 
further lines upon either side of the harbor of Boston as 
they should think expedient, beyond which no wharves 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 11 



should be extended. The report of this commission was 
one of the most thoughtful and suggestive of the series in 
which the harbor questions have been presented. Upon its 
recommendation further harbor-lines were established by 
chap. 35 of the Acts of 1840. 

Five years later, under a resolve of March 22, 1845, a 
third commission for a similar purpose was appointed, which 
consisted of James Hayward and Ezra Lincoln, jun. This 
commission submitted, the year following, a report contain- 
ing much information in regard to South Bay, Mystic River, 
and Charles River ; and upon its recommendation new har- 
bor-lines were established in those localities by chap. 278 of 
the Acts of 1847. 

A fourth commission, consisting of Joseph Bell and Ezra 
Lincoln, jun., appointed nnder a resolve of April 16, 1846, 
had first examined the legal questions involved in the recom- 
mendations of the commission of 1845, and had reported 
conclusions since fully sustained by the courts. 

A fifth commission, consisting of Thomas G. Cary, Simeon 
Borden, and Ezra Lincoln, was appointed under a resolve of 
the same date, to examine the flats at South Boston with a 
view to a plan of improvement thereof beneficial to commerce ; 
and made, Feb. 2, 1847, a careful report, which discussed the 
probable effect of the reclamation of the flats in question 
upon the harbor, and advised great caution in relation 
thereto. 

A sixth commission, consisting of Samuel S. Lewis and 
Ezra Lincoln, jun., was appointed nnder resolve of April 7, 
1847, in relation to a survey of Boston Harbor, and was in- 
structed by an additional resolve, May 10, 1848, to present 
lines for a harbor-line in Chelsea Creek ; also to ascertain 
whether obstructions were forming in Fort Point Channel, 
and whether legislation was necessary to prevent or remove 
the same. In its report, this commission recognize the prin- 
ciple of requiring compensation from those authorized to 
extend structures into tide-water, and recommend that the 
proprietors of certain wharves be required to remove the 
bar in Fort Point Channel as a condition of extending their 
wharves to a new line. 

The seventh commission was appointed under resolve of 
May 10, 1843, " To consider, and report to the next Legisla- 



12 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



ture, what are the rights and duties of the Commonwealth in 
relation to the flats in the harbor of Boston.' 1 Other duties 
were assigned specifically, but the report of the commission 
treated principally the comprehensive subject committed to 
it. A brief report was submitted in 1849, signed by Richard 
Fletcher, David Cummings, George S. Boutwell, and Charles 
Hudson ; and the final report was submitted in January, 

1850, signed by John M. Williams, David Cummings, Thomas 
Hopkinson, George S. Boutwell, and Charles Hudson. Under 
the head of the rights of the Commonwealth, the legal posi- 
tion was stated with great clearness. In regard to the duties 
of the State, this commission differed from the conclusions of 
previous commissions, and advised against the filling of the 
South Boston flats ; predicting that in 50 years the utmost 
capacity of the harbor would be required, and contending 
that nothing should be filled which is capable, by excavation, 
of being converted at a reasonable expense into wet docks 
or roadsteads. 

The eighth commission consisted of Simon Greenleaf, Joel 
Giles, and Ezra Lincoln, jun., and was appointed under a 
resolve of May 3, 1850. Its first report is dated March 22, 

1851. The legal questions involved in the State's relations 
to tide-water are again exhaustively discussed in this report ; 
also the expediency of filling the flats at South Boston, and 
harbor lines in South Bay. A permanent board of trustees 
or commissioners is recommended. The final report was 
presented March 11, 1852, in which the establishment of a 
State commission upon Boston Harbor and its tributary waters 
was again recommended. 

Under resolve of May 20, 1852, probably passed upon the 
recommendation last cited, a ninth commission was appointed, 
— the first of a permanent character, — which was termed 
the Commissioners on Boston Harbor and the Back Bay. 
The duties of this board seem to have been principally 
confined to the interests of the Commonwealth in the Back 
Bay ; and in 1855 the name was changed, so that it was after- 
wards known as the Commissioners on the Back Bay. 

Under resolve of April 7, 1854, a tenth commission was 
appointed, to establish lines in Mystic River, Boston Harbor, 
and Dorchester Bay. This board consisted of Henry W. 
Kinsman, Charles Henry Davis, and Edward H. Eldredge. 



1879,] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



13 



A partial report was made in December, 1854 ; and a final 
report Feb. 28, 1855, in which the commissioners say that 
the recommendation to which they attach the highest im- 
portance is, 44 that the care and superintendence of the whole 
harbor and its dependencies, or of all the tide-waters of 
Massachusetts, be assigned to a permanent board, or some 
other standing authority ; " and again : " They cannot take " 
" leave of the subject without once more referring to the " 
" imperative necessity now existing of establishing a perm a- " 
" nent Board of Harbor Commissioners. The conditions " 
" herein recommended as of the first importance, in connec- " 
" tion with any improvements which the Legislature may " 
" hereafter authorize in either of the great tidal reservoirs, " 
" — the continued building of new wharves, and extension " 
44 of old ones ; the filling up of docks and flats to the exclu- " 
44 sion of the tide ; the consequent diversion of currents to " 
44 a greater or less degree ; the changes which have taken " 
44 place in the channels, and the causes which have pro- " 
" duced these changes, — all point to the necessity of a " 
" continued supervision. Much good has resulted from the " 
" examinations made by the several commissions heretofore " 
" appointed ; but the results, so far as the protection of this " 
" great public interest is concerned, would undoubtedly " 
44 have been much more beneficial, while the expense would " 
44 not probably have been greater, had a permanent board " 
44 been continued from the year 1835 to the present time. " 
44 It is manifest that every new board of commissioners, and " 
44 every new committee of the Legislature, having the sub- " 
44 ject in charge, must encounter great difficulties from their " 
44 want of previous acquaintance with it. In the liability " 
44 to an entire change from year to year in the formation of" 
44 these bodies is to be found an additional reason, namely, " 
44 that the time occupied in learning the duties of its charge " 
44 is so much lost to the full performance of its functions. " 
44 The experience of one board does not descend to its sue- " 
44 cessors. It should be made the duty of such a commis- " 
44 sion to see that the works allowed to be erected within it " 
44 should do no injury, or the least possible injury, to the" 
44 harbor ; that they should be what they were authorized " 
44 to be, and nothing more ; that plans should be made of all " 
44 such structures, and careful observations recorded of their " 



14 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



" effect upon the channels. Accurate surveys of the islands " 
" and headlands should be made yearly, and the result de- " 
" lineated upon plans drawn upon a large scale, so as to " 
" show the comparative abrasions of their soil, one season " 
u with another, and direct attention to the points most se- " 
" riously affected by the action of the sea. By this means " 
" also the formation of shoals and spits, and the changes " 
" of the current injurious to the main channels of the har- " 
" bor, would be accurately known and defined. Annual " 
" reports made by such a commission would communicate " 
" authentic information, and would gradually become a col- " 
" lection of great historic and practical value." 

In 1859 the land-office, which had been abolished in 1858, 
was revived, and the land-agent was given in charge all 
lands, flats, shores, and rights in tide-waters belonging to the 
Commonwealth, except the Back-bay lands and other lands 
then provided for by law ; and hy the same resolve the Gov- 
ernor and Council were given powers in relation to the per- 
mission of structures in tide-water similar to those afterward 
given to the Harbor Commission. The land-office was again 
abolished in 1861 ; and the duties of the land-agent were 
assigned to the Commissioners on the Back Bay, who were 
thereafter termed the Commissioners on Public Lands. 

In 1856 and 1858 the Legislature passed resolves request- 
ing Congress to direct a scientific survey of Boston Harbor ; 
but the survey was not obtained until the city of Boston 
supplemented the efforts of the Legislature by an appropria- 
tion for expenses connected with the same, when the work 
was thoroughly executed under the direction of United 
States officers. The results obtained from the survey thus 
made have been of great service in all subsequent studies of 
the harbor, and will continue to be of use as long as the 
harbor shall require care. 

The eleventh commission was appointed under resolves of 
April 28, 1862, and was termed the Commissioners on the 
Harbors and Flats of the Commonwealth. Its first report 
was made Jan. 15, 1863, and signed by F. W. Bird and 
Horace Gray. A second report, made after the completion 
of the survey of Boston Harbor, was dated March 22, 1864, 
and signed by Emory Washburn and Horace Gray, in which 
the importance of a permanent commission, who should have 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



15 



in charge the interests of the harbor, was urged. A third 
report, dated Feb. 24, 1865, transmitted the ninth report of 
the United States commissioners. A fourth report was made 
Jan. 16, 1866, signed by S. E. Sewall, George B. Upton, and 
M. D. Ross, in which the following language is used: "In 
regard to a general system for the care, improvement, and 
protection of the harbors, we must recommend, as those who 
have preceded us as a commission have done, the creation of 
a permanent board of harbor commissioners, to have the 
supervision of all the harbors and flats of the State ; " and 
considerable space is given to an explanation of the work 
which existed for such board. 

Chap. 149 of the Acts of 1866 established a board of harbor 
commissioners, consisting of five persons, to be appointed by 
the Governor. This commission was reduced in 1877 to three 
members, but without change of duties or name, and may be 
properly considered the present system. The board thus 
established were given the general care and supervision of 
all the harbors and tide-waters, and of all the flats and lands 
flowed thereby, within the Commonwealth, except the Back- 
bay lands so called, with power to make surveys, examina- 
tions, and observations in any harbor as they may deem 
necessary, and to employ competent engineers, clerical and 
other assistance. They were also authorized to prescribe 
harbor-lines to be reported for the consideration of the Legis- 
lature, and to approve the mode of extending structures 
below high-water mark. In all cases affecting the harbor of 
Boston, and in cases affecting other harbors when the board 
should think it necessary, they were required to ascertain the 
amount of tide-water displaced by any structure or filling 
thereafter authorized, and require the parties causing the 
same to make compensation therefor by excavation or a 
money equivalent, the money thus obtained to constitute a 
fund applicable to the protection and improvement of the 
harbor from which it is collected. They were also authorized, 
whenever they deemed it necessary, to apply to Congress for 
appropriations for protecting and improving any harbor in 
the Commonwealth, and to recommend such State legislation 
as they deemed necessary for the preservation and improve- 
ment of the harbors, and the promotion of the interests of 
the Commonwealth connected therewith. The powers of the 



16 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



Board in relation to structures were extended by chap. 236 of 
the Acts of 1872 and chap. 347 of the Acts of 1874. The 
care of the property interests of the Commonwealth in South 
Boston flats was transferred from the Harbor Commission to 
State agents by chap. 239 of the Acts of 1875. The pro- 
visions in relation to compensation for tide- water displaced 
were modified by chap. 74 of the Acts of 1878. 

The present system has existed a little more than twelve 
years, during which the more important harbors of the 
Commonwealth have been the subjects of careful study by 
the Board and its engineers. A large number of structures 
have been authorized in the harbors of Boston and Glouces- 
ter, a considerable number in the harbor of Provincetown, 
and some in nearly every harbor of the Commonwealth. 
Special surveys and examinations of permanent value have 
been made in some of the smaller harbors, as well as in those 
of greater prominence. The Legislature has been relieved of 
a large number of matters pertaining to the erection or ex- 
tension of wharves and other structures, important in the 
aggregate, but consuming time of the Legislature dispropor- 
tioned to their importance when considered in detail. In the 
great commercial port of the Commonwealth, through the 
expenditures of the United States, the enterprise of the State, 
and the exertion of individuals stimulated by both, great 
improvements have been effected; and the harbor is in much 
better condition than ever before to meet the needs of its 
growing foreign commerce. The special fund for its protec- 
tion, derived from assessments for tide-water displaced, al- 
ready amounts to $131,460.44, the annual interest of which 
may be expended under the direction of the Harbor Commis- 
sioners for needed improvements. There has been expended 
from this source, for deepening the inner harbor at points 
which the United States have not been willing to embrace 
within any scheme of improvement hitherto projected at the 
national charge, the sum of $41,300.17 ; and the deepening 
thus effected has been immediately utilized by large steam- 
ers engaged in the foreign trade, furnishing convincing proof 
that the improvement was not in advance of the actual need. 
The reclamation of the flats at South Boston has proceeded 
to an extent already productive of much improvement in the 
channels and anchorage-ground of the harbor, by the dredg- 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



17 



ing done in filling the twenty-five-acre parcel for the State, 
and in the partial filling of the fifty acres for the Boston and 
Albany Railroad Company. The Board anticipate still 
greater benefit from the reclamation of the flats of the Com- 
monwealth east of those of the railroad company and from 
the dredging which such reclamation will occasion. The care 
by a separate Board of the property interest of the State in the 
lands to be reclaimed has not resulted in any conflict of policy 
or measures. Concentrated attention to the pecuniary results 
of the improvement in progress is essential to final success. 

The active co-operation of the State has been of great ser- 
vice in obtaining liberal action from the general government, 
which has appropriated $1,245,170 since the establishment 
of the Board of Harbor Commissioners in 1866, for works 
of improvement in Boston Harbor planned by that Board. 
A plan illustrating the dredging in the upper harbor by the 
State and general government will be found in the Appendix. 
The action of the United States in protecting the islands of 
the outer harbor could not have been delayed many years 
without serious consequences. The difficult scientific ques- 
tions involved in wise regulation and supervision of harbor 
interests have received the continuous attention of engineers 
of ripe experience in the special studies required. Much 
information has been gathered and preserved that will be 
of use in future studies beyond any present means of meas- 
urement. No money expended by the Board has in its judg- 
ment brought greater returns than that expended for the 
service of scientific experts. The work of the Board could 
never be well done without a considerable expenditure for 
service of this nature, but some of that which will be neces- 
sary will be more properly chargeable to the special fund 
of the harbor in relation to which it may be required. 



Received from Tide-Lands. 

There has been received during the year, from the sale of 
flats belonging to the Commonwealth required for the exten- 
sion of structures in tide-water licensed by the Board, the 
sum of $11,116.55. This amount does not go to the credit 
of the compensation-fund, but to the sinking-fund for the 
redemption of the war-debt. The sum thus secured to the 
State so far amounts to $36,349.96. 



18 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



Harbor Improvements by the General Government. 

The improvements in the harbors of the Commonwealth 
during the year by the general government have embraced 
works in the harbors of Boston, Newburyport, Plymouth, 
Provincetown, Wareham, and Fall River, also in Taunton 
River. By the courtesy of Gen. George Thorn and Gen. G. 
K. Warren, the Board are permitted to present extracts from 
the official reports concerning these works made to the chief 
engineer of the army, which will be found in the Appendix. 

The substantial completion of the removal of sunken rock 
from the main channel in Boston Harbor is a great gain to 
the safety and convenience of the entrance. The removal 
of Man-of-war Shoal is under contract, and one-half the 
work executed. This Board has long deemed the removal 
of this shoal important, and in 1877 presented to Congress 
a memorial urging the action which has been taken. 

Office and Field Work. 

In addition to the usual routine work connected with the 
ordinary duties of the Board, the re-survey of Boston Har- 
bor has continued to receive considerable time and attention 
from the engineers. The number of licenses granted during 
the year has been about the same as in previous years, a list 
of which is given below. Fewer controversies have arisen 
in relation to structures authorized than heretofore. 

Plans approved by the Board of Harbor Commissioners during the year 1877, 
for the erection of structures in or over tide-water, and licenses granted for 
such structures. 

Nos. 

407. Boston and Hingham Steamboat Company, for leave to extend its 

wharf in Hingham Harbor on piles. Approved March 20, 1878. 

408. Onset Bay Grove Association, for leave to build a pile wharf in 

Onset Bay, town of Wareham. Approved Feb. 27, 1878. 

409. City of Boston, for leave to rebuild the southerly draw-pier of Cam- 

bridge Street Bridge over Charles River. Approved March 6, 
1878. 

410. Nathaniel E. Atwood of Provincetown, for leave to extend his 

wharf in Provincetown Harbor on piles. Approved March 6, 
1878. 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



19 



411. J. F. Small of Provincetown, for leave to build a pile wharf in 

Provincetown Harbor. Approved March 20, 1878. 

412. Benjamin Lancy of Provincetown, for leave to extend his wharf in 

Provincetown Harbor on piles. Approved March 20, 1878. 

413. R. G. Tarrant of Provincetown, for leave to construct a pile wharf 

in Provincetown Harbor. Approved March 20, 1878. 

414. Boston and Hingham Steamboat Company, for leave to construct a 

pile wharf on Weir River at Nantasket Beach in the town of 
Hull. Approved March 20, 1878. 

415. City of Boston, for leave to build a foundation for an office and 

stable on piles, for Meridian Street Bridge. Approved March 27, 
1878. 

416. City of Salem, for leave to widen and repair the draw in Essex 

Bridge over the river between Salem and Beverly. Approved 
April 3, 1878. 

417. Stone & Downer, for the construction of a breakwater at Nye's 

Neck, near the entrance of Wild Harbor, town of Falmouth. 
Approved April 3, 1878. 

418. Boston and Lowell Railroad Corporation, for leave to widen its 

freight-bridge over Charles River. Approved April 17, 1878. 

419. Fitchburg Railroad Company, for leave to widen its bridge over 

Charles River on the north side. Approved April 24, 1878. 

420. Fitchburg Railroad Company, for leave to widen the northerly pier 

of Constitution Wharf on piles. Approved April 24, 1878. 

421. T. A. Newhall of Lynn, for leave to extend his wharf in Lynn Har- 

bor by solid filling. Approved May 22, 1878. 

422. Boston, Clinton, Fitchburg, and New Bedford Railroad Company, 

for leave to extend its wharf in New Bedford Harbor. Approved 
May 22, 1878. 

423. Boston, Revere Beach, and Lynn Railroad Company, for the con- 

struction of a pile wharf and ferry-slip between Rowe's and Fos- 
ter's Wharves, Boston. Approved May 22, 1878. 

424. Boston, Revere Beach, and Lynn Railroad Company, for the con- 

struction of a pile wharf and ferry-slip at East Boston. Approved 
May 22, 1878. 

425. Alden Choate of Lynn, and Jonathan Blaney and others of Swamp- 

scot, for leave to extend their wharf by solid filling, and dredge a 
channel in front of said wharf, in Lynn Harbor. Approved May 
29, 1878 

426. Fenno Tudor of Nahant, for the extension of Central Wharf on 

piles in the town of Nahant. Approved May 29, 1878. 

427. Boston and Albany Railroad Company, for leave to rebuild the 

draw in its bridge over Chelsea Creek. Approved May 29, 1878. 

428. Town of Revere, for leave to fill solid Boatfield Bridge across Sales 

Creek. Approved June 19, 1878. 

429. New York and New England Railroad Company, for leave to widen 

its bridge across Fort Point Channel, and fill up a dock between 
its property and what was formerly Drake's Wharf. Approved 
July 10, 1878. 



20 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



430. Haskins Brothers, for the extension of their wharf on Maverick 

Street, East Boston. Approved Julyl7, 1878. 

431. City of Cambridge, for leave to construct a retaining-wall on the 

easterly abutment of River Street Bridge. Approved July 1 , 1878. 

432. Samuel Q. Currier, for leave to build a sea-wall in Hingham Bay, 

town of Hull. Approved Sept. 4, 1878. 

433. Kidder, Vaughan, & Co., for leave to build a wharf, partly solid 

and partly on piles, in Chelsea Creek, East Boston. Approved 
Sept. 11, 1878. 

434. Daniel B. Gardner and others, for leave to construct a dam across 

the mouth of Juniper Point Cove, Salem Harbor. Approved Oct. 
30, 1878. 

435. Maverick Oil Company, for leave to fill flats, and enclose the same 

by a sea-wall, in Chelsea Creek, East Boston. Approved Sept. 
25, 1878. 

436. Nehemiah Lee, for leave to extend his wharf and excavate a chan- 

nel therefrom, in Lynn Harbor. Approved Oct. 2, 1878. 

437. Eben Wright, for the construction of a solid wharf at Cohasset * 

Narrows in the town of Sandwich. Approved Oct. 9, 1878. 

438. Plans and specifications for the construction of platforms in Fort 

Point Channel and the State Dock at South Boston, and for fend- 
ers upon heavy sea-walls upon the Harbor. Approved Aug. 30, 
1878. 

439. The same. 

440. The same. 

441. Andrew C. Wheelwright, for the construction of a pile-wharf in 

Cohasset Harbor. Approved Oct. 17, 1878. 

442. J. W. White, for leave to build a stone wall and wharf in Marble- 

head Harbor. Approved Oct. 17, 1878. 

443. Mercantile and Commercial Wharf Corporations, for leave to drive 

piles between their piers for the foundation of storehouses. Ap- 
proved Oct. 23, 1878. 
280. Boston, Revere Beach, and Lynn Railroad Company, for leave to 
fill solid the bridges on the line of its location between its depot 
at Lynn and Saugus River. Approved Oct. 23, 1878. 

444. Central Wharf and Wet Dock Corporation, for leave to widen its 

wharf in Boston Harbor. Approved Oct. 30, 1878. 

445. Stephen N. Breed, for leave to fill up a portion of his dock in Lynn 

Harbor. Approved Nov. 6, 1878. 

446. George H. and John Cavanagh, for leave to build a road from Dor- 

chester Avenue to " Wales Island," South Bay. Approved Nov. 
6, 1878. 

447. Hiram Harding and others, for leave to build a pile wharf at Stage 

Harbor, Chatham. Approved Nov. 6", 1878. 

448. David P. Davis, for leave to extend his wharf on piles in Taunton 

River, town of Somerset. Approved Nov. 13, 1878. 

449. Mount Hope Iron Company of Somerset, for the extension of their 

wharf by solid filling in Taunton River. Approved Nov. 20, 1878. 

450. Fitchburg Railroad Company, for leave to straighten the end of 

Constitution Wharf, Boston Harbor. Approved Dec. 4, 1878. 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



21 



The Board continues under obligations to Hon. C. P. Pat- 
terson, Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey, 
and to Generals Thorn and Warren of tfie Engineer Depart- 
ment, for courteous assistance given in their work. 

During the year Professor Peirce and Professor Mitchell 
have resigned their positions as members of the United States 
Advisory Council. The Board has been much indebted to 
these officers in the past ; and, although Professor Peirce has 
been less frequently consulted for the latter portion of his 
service, the privilege of obtaining his opinion when needed 
was highly esteemed. Professor Mitchell's duties on the 
United States Coast Survey enabled him to be with the 
Board a larger portion of his time than any other member of 
the Advisory Council could give to the work; and the Board 
has derived from his service assistance of very great value. 
It is hoped that as future occasion shall arise, the Board will 
be able to obtain again the counsel and assistance of these 
eminent authorities. Professor Henry L. Whiting of the 
United States Coast Survey has continued to render the 
Board valuable service. 

FEE DERI C W. LINCOLN. 
FRANCIS A. NYE. 
ALBERT MASON. 

Boston, Dec. 30, 1878. 



APPENDIX. 



[A.] 

IMPROVEMENT OF SOUTH BOSTON FLATS. 

RECORD OF POINTS AND LINES DEFINING THE " TWENTY- 
FIVE-ACRE PIECE," IMPROVED BY THE STATE IN 
1873-7, AND ADJOINING FLATS. 



MAT, 1878. 



HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



Distance 
from C' to 
point. 


Feet. 


Angle at C 
right from C 
to point. 


i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i 

o 


Distance 
from C to 
point. 


Feet. 

903.544 
65(3.753 
227.65... 
67.65 ... 
617.216 
912.298 
929.512 


Angle at ^ 
left from C 
to point. 


t - IO 
tH JO 

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 

© <M 

O CO "* 


Angle at C 
right from $ 
to point. 


O I II 

28 56 57.5 
35 26 12.5 


Angle at P C 
left from C 
to point. 


O / " 

54 39 31.25 
44 13 22.5 

36 57 35 


Angle at C 
right from P 
to point. 


- OiOOOOiOO 

co »o ^ i-H Tti o 

CN ^ CN CO © lO <N 

O TtH CS <M CN CO OC lO 

t- CO rH TjH CO CO © 


Abscissa. 


Feet. 
0. 
50. 
910. 
736.641 
1092.890 
1532.609 
1964.968 
1962.391 
1248.391 
1248.391 
1092.030 
0. 
0. 

1089.801 
997.548 
994.471 
1188.135 
29.800 
27.976 
29.800 
667.146 
683.359 
687.659 
860.133 
868.408 
892.685 
997.540 


Ordinate. 


tHWIOWOOOOOOONOONNN lO t~ rt" CO CO t- 
CO CM CO "* CO CO CO t- O O I— CO CO CO CO rtt C! O b- H H CO CO 
4^> COCC^OCOCOCOOOiOOOt^O-lt^CO C<J ^ CO t- CO i-i CO 

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r ~ © coh^ccw^ioothc?. cm co co i-h nh^^hhin 

n CO © © CO © © C>1 CN CO CO CO © CO CO CO CO CO _i_ i CO © © 

++++77777 11+1711 +++++++ 


POINT. 





1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



1 .~ 



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26 



HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



Distance 
from C to 
point. 


Feet. 
2367.167 

2363.918 


Angle at C 
right from C 
to point. 


O 1 II 

7 28 55.5 
6 30 03.5 


Distance 
from C to 
point. 


Feet. 
939.045 

930.594 


Angle at 
left from C 
to point. 


O i n 

73 44 50 
73 53 37.5 


Angle at C 
right from ^ 
to point. 


o * II 

38 13 02.5 
36 37 45 


Angle at PC 
left from C 
to point. 


O III 


Angle at C 
right from P 
to point. 


98 10 50 
96 35 32.5 


Abscissa. 


Feet. 
1043.620 

1016 837 


Ordinate. 


Feet. 
+ 929.490 

+ 924.442 


POINT. 


1.5 feet back from Front Top Line of 
Caps — East End of Heavy Wall 
East of Dock 

Intersection of Front Top Line of 
Caps of B. & A. Dock Wall with 
Back Top Line of Heavy Wall East 



3 § 



£ - 
2 O C3 

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as 



1879.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 27 



Angle at Centre. 


O 1 n 

79 - 01 - 04.10 
do. 

. 19 - 20 - 25.23 
8 - 40 - 44.33 

6 - 22 - 10.5 


Radius. 
Feet. 


do © © d 

©oo I CO l CO 1 I 1 I I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 CO I I I I I • • 


6 1 
En 


893.334 

18.231 

41.488 
63.522 
2,780.483 
0. 
685. 

6.591 
46.029 
1,300. 
987.5 
312.5 
941.523 
1,247.323 
857.892 
83.579 
76.268 
1,330.902 

1,317.830 
7.310 
0. 
0. 

2,326.597 


OQ 1 


736.641 

795.968 

356.249 
432.358 

2.574 
714. 

0. 

156.361 
1,092.030 
0. 
0. 
0. 

1,092.033 
1,092.890 

2.229 
1,089.801 
994.471 

3.088 

3.076 
95.330 
50. 

860. 

451.494 


Angle between line 
or chord and Com- 
missioners' line 
tangent at P. 


O I II 

38 - 30 - 32.05 
do. 

88 - 41 - 16.71 

83 - 21 - 26.27 
98 - 21 - 29.33 

(3)90 

(3)0 

87 - 35 - 11 
do. 






130 - 46 - 02 
41 - 13 - 28.05 

94 - 22 - 48 

do. 
- 07 - 58.5 

- 07 - 58.5 
94 - 22 - 48 
90 
90 

169 - 01 - 04.10 
87 - 35 - 11 
do. 


Length of 


Chord. 
Feet. 


1,157.80 

796.207 
358.657 

263.380 


Line or Arc. 
Feet. 


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1 1-1 rH Ol co^co^co^rH rH ^rH l—t ^t— ( rH rH" C<> 


LINE. 


o 
o 



28 



HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. 



[Jan. 



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Q 



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1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



29 



DESCRIPTION OF POINTS IN TABLES. 

a Copper bolt on Boston Wharf Company's line, in top of most southerly 

cap of Fort Point Channel light wall, 1.7 feet back from front, and 

about 0.4 feet from south side of said cap. 
/? Copper bolt on Boston Wharf Company's line, in second face-stone 

under most southerly cap of Fort Point Channel light wall, and 1.83 

feet out from a. 

y Copper bolt 2.15 feet back from front top line of caps of Fort Point 

Channel light wall, at south end of curve. 
6 Copper bolt 1.5 feet back from front top line of caps of heavy wall west 

of dock, and 557.2 feet from west end of said wall, in range with No. 

9 dolphin and C. 

e Copper bolt 2.5 feet back from front top line of caps of heavy wall east 
of dock, 46.12 feet from east end of said wall. This bolt is on Bos- 
ton and Albany Railroad Company's line, provided a strip 95.33 feet 
in width (containing 126,280 square feet) is set off to said company 
from old boundary, as proposed. 

V Copper bolt in the top of stone monument 8 inches square, set 5 feet in 

the ground. It is on the line of the Boston Wharf Company, and is 
on the line of the Boston and Albany Railroad Company also, pro- 
vided a strip 95.33 feet in width (containing 126,280 square feet) is set 
off as proposed. 

C Copper tack in the top of a wooden post 6 inches square, set 8 feet in the 
ground. It is at the centre of the curve of 910 feet radius in the 
Commissioners' line, and is 67.75 feet from south-east corner of 
State dock-wall. 
C Centre of curve of 2,370 feet radius, not fixed on the ground. 
PC Copper tack in the top of a wooden post 6 inches square, set four feet in 
the ground. It is at the P.C. (beginning) of curve of 860 feet radius, 
and 22.35 feet back from front top line of caps of Fort Point Chan- 
nel light wall. 

E Copper tack in the top of a pile of an old bulkhead on Commissioners' 

line A.* It is 87.2 feet westerly from L. 
W Copper tack in the top of an oak plug about 15 inches long, driven into 
the ground flush with its top. It is 922 feet from E on Commission- 
ers' line A,* and about 80.3 feet from front of wooden wharf, and 
about in range with the top front line of a jog of 10 feet in Channel 
wall. 

R Tangent point of both the curve of 910 feet radius and the curve of 2,370 

feet radius in the Commissioners' line. 
TJ Intersection of the line through e and V with the Commissioners' line. 

Y Original north-east corner of the "twenty-rive-acre piece " of State flats 

before setting off a strip from it to the Boston and Albany Railroad 
Company. 

T East end of the curve of 2,370 feet radius in the Commissioners' line. 

Z North-east corner of the Boston Wharf Company's flats and the original 
south-east corner of the " twenty-rive-acre piece" of State flats. 

X South-west corner of the "twenty-five-acre piece," and north-west cor- 
ner of the Boston Wharf Company's flats. On Commissioners' line 
along Fort Point Channel. 

K Intersection of Commissioners' line A* with the Commissioners' line on 
the east side of Fort Point Channel. 

* Commissioners' line A as fixed on ground by Harbor Commissioners in 1873. 



30 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



SM Point 0.29 feet south and 0.04 feet east of a copper bolt in stone monu- 
ment. It is on the range of the west side of A Street in South 
Boston, and is 380.14 feet from E. 
P Origin of co-ordinates and beginning of curve of 910 feet radius in Com- 
sioners' line. 

* A Intersection of the backf top line of caps of the heavy wall west of 

dock with the prolongation of the front top line of caps of the 
straight part of the west dock- wall between the angle point and the 
heavy wall. 

* B Front top line of caps at the angle point in the west dock-wall. 

D Intersection of the front top line of caps of the west dock- wall with the 

front top line of caps of the end dock- wall. 
F Intersection of the front top line of caps of the end dock-wall with the 

front top line of caps of the east dock-wall. 

* G Front top line of caps at the angle point in the east dock-wall. 

* H Intersection of the front top line of caps of the east dock-wall with the 

back f top line of caps of the heavy wall east of dock. 
See accompanying sketch for location of points in tables. 
Measurements were made with a steel tape, and were corrected for tempera- 
ture, &c, so as to agree with the Boston City Hall standard. 



* Marked by crowfoot ( t) cut in wall. 

f Back top line of caps of heavy wall is 5 feet back from front line. 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 31 



[BJ 

REPORT OX TRIANGULATION CONNECTED WITH THE 
RE-SURVEY OF BOSTON UPPER HARBOR FOR THE 
MASSACHUSETTS BOARD OF HARBOR COMMISSIONERS. 
1877-78. 



By FRANCIS BLAKE, Jun., Assistant U.S. Coast Survey. 



Boston, Mass., March, 1878. 
Mr. C. P. Patterson, Superintendent United States Coast Survey. 

Sir, — By an Act of the Massachusetts Legislature of 1877, an appropria- 
tion for the re-survey of Boston Upper Harbor was made, to be expended 
under the direction of the honorable Board of Harbor Commissioners of 
the Commonwealth. 

In September last, in response to a request of the Board, you were 
pleased to instruct me to execute the triangulation connected with this 
re-survey; and I now have the honor of making a final report on its exe- 
cution, and of transmitting to you its records, computations, and final 
results. 

Your instructions, dated Tuesday, Sept. 11, 1877, were received the fol- 
lowing Thursday ; and the next day I placed my services at the disposal 
of the Board. They expressed the wish that I should at once begin such 
a triangulation as would establish a large number of initial points for the 
topographical survey, and assigned Messrs. William E. McClintock and 
H. Raeder to act as my assistant and recorder, respectively, during the 
work. Mr. McClintock had already been engaged for several weeks in 
erecting signals, and searching for some old established Coast Survey points 
from which the triangulation might be started. In this search he had 
succeeded in identifying but one point in the vicinity of our work, 
which had been occupied during the original triangulation of the harbor. 
This point was Blind Asylum Cupola, South Boston ; and a reference to 
the old scheme showed that a line thence to Powderhorn Chelsea, would 
best serve as a base from which to start our work. But all traces of the 
latter station had been obliterated during the construction of a road across 
the summit of the hill from which it derives its name. Arrangements 
were made, therefore, to determine at once a new station on Powderhorn 
Hill from the old Coast Survey base, Blue Hill to Prospect Waltham. 
Tripod signals were erected at the points of this main triangle ; but, by the 
time we received a suitable instrument for the angular measurements, the 
smoke of the city, which had been rapidly increasing with the advance 
of the season, had become so dense, that, even on the clearest days, the 



32 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



signals were not well enough denned to be observed upon. However, 
Mr. McClintock, with commendable ingenuity and at a trifling expense, 
devised and constructed two heliotropes, with the aid of which this first 
step in our work was brought to a satisfactory conclusion. About 150 
measurements were made to determine the angle at each station ; the 
probable errors of the finally adopted values being 0".32 at Blue Hill, 
0".23 at Prospect Waltham, and 0".46 at Powderhorn. 

The following data with reference to the base, Blue Hill to Prospect 
Waltham, were promptly furnished, at my request, by Professor J. E. 
Hilgard, assistant in charge of the Coast Survey office : — 

Blue Hill, Latitude 42° 12' 41". 900. Longitude 71° 6' 31". 630. 

Prospect Waltham, Latitude 42° 23' 16".842. Longitude 71° 14' 54".393. 
• Blue Hill to Prospect Waltham, K = 22722.78 meters. 
Blue Hill to Prospect Waltham, Z = 149° 35' 57". 8. 
Prospect Waltham, to Blue Hill, Z = 329° 30' 19". 4. 

These data, in connection with our observations, give the following 
geodetic position of Powderhorn (1877) : — 

Latitude 42° 24' 2" .589. 
Longitude 71° 1' 30". 999. 

The old established geodetic position of Blind Asylum, also furnished 
by Professor Hilgard, is : — 

Latitude 42° 20' 5".055. 
Longitude 71° 2' 11".795. 

By working our L M Z formula backward, the length and azimuths of 
the line joining these points have been deduced as follows : — 

Powderhorn (1877) to Blind Asylum, K = 7387.68 meters. 
Powderhorn (1877) to Blind Asylum, Z = 7° 15' 42". 7. 
Blind Asylum to Powderhorn (1877), Z = 187° 15' 15".2. 

This is the base from which the subsequent triangulation is derived. 

It should be noted that the work up to this point was entirely unfore- 
seen at the time the original estimate was made of the cost of the trian- 
gulation connected with the re-survey of the wharf lines of Boston Upper 
Harbor. [Vide " Eleventh Annual Report of the Board of Harbor Com- 
missioners," p. 17.] It was then believed that the triangulation could be 
started directly from a base in the immediate vicinity of the work; but 
the impracticability of the plan, owing to the destruction of the old 
station-marks, has already been shown. 

The above-mentioned base having been established, the subsidiary 
triangulation for the determination of topographical points was begun, 
and the field-work diligently prosecuted whenever the weather allowed. 
During the progress of this work, the idea occurred to me of carefully 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



33 



determining and permanently marking a number of points, without the 
city limits, so selected that the lines joining them should form a series of 
bases, from which any future changes in the harbor lines could be at once 
referred to the topographical survey. I therefore addressed the following 
letter to the Board : — 

Boston, Mass., Oct. 23, 1877. 

To the Honorable Board of Harbor Commissioners of the Commonwealth of Massa- 
chusetts . 

Gentlemen, — I beg leave to call your attention to the importance of 
permanently marking a number of the principal stations occupied during 
the geodetic work upon which I am engaged under your direction. Many 
of the points determined are selected with special reference to aiding the 
topographer in his plane-table survey, and will cease to be of extraordinary 
value when that survey is finished. For these points a temporary mark- 
ing — as a wooden stub with nail in centre — is therefore sufficient. 
But it seems to be of great importance that such a series of points should 
be permanently marked as will enable any future changes in the harbor- 
lines to be at once, at a trifling expense, referred to the survey now in 
progress. In selecting these points, due weight must be given to the 
probability of the land in their vicinity remaining undisturbed; and for 
marking them I would suggest granite posts, six inches square and five 
feet long, dressed six inches at the top, and a copper bolt inserted in drill- 
hole at centre. Such posts can be delivered at the different stations at 
an average cost of five dollars and fifty cents each. They should be set in 
the ground, with their tops six inches above the surface. There are not 
more than fifteen stations which should be so marked. 

Very respectfully yours, 

FRANCIS BLAKE, Jun., Assistant U.S.C. S. 

At their next meeting, the Board were pleased to approve the plan pro- 
posed in the above letter, and further requested that the letters U.S.C.S. 
should be cut on the upper faces of the stone monuments mentioned 
therein. 

Eight points were determined and marked in accordance with this ap- 
proved plan. Their geodetic positions, — determined as directly as possi- 
ble from the original base, Powderhorn (1877) to Blind Asylum, — and 
the corresponding lengths and azimuths of the connecting lines, which 
may be used as bases for future surveys, are given in the following ta- 
bles. 



34 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



STATION. 


Latitude. 


Longitude. 


Winthrop Head . 




o 
42 


22 


2.400 


o 
70 


57 


47.182 






42 


23 


2(5.070 


71 





9.218 










6.800 


71 





20.051 


Powderhorn 




42 


24 


2.580 


71 


1 


30.999 


East Boston Reservoir 




42 


22 


50.570 


71 


1 


48 835 


South Boston Sea Wall . 




42 


21 


10.428 


71 


2 


22.410 


Naval Hospital . 




42 


23 


20.010 


71 


2 


34 886 


Prospect Somerville . 




42 


22 


52.039 


71 


5 


10.850 









Azimuth. 






















Length of 


BASE. 




Fore. 






Back. 




Base in 
Meters. 


Winthrop Head to Governor's Isl'd, 
" " to E. B. Reservoir, 


o 

G3 


54 


54.4 


o 
243 


53 


11.4 


3,895.01 


105 


4 


21.9 


285 


1 


39.0 


5,724 44 


"to Naval Hospital, 


110 


9 


49.1 


2<)0 





35.2 


7,009.00 


" to Powderhorn 


125 


50 


19.4 


305 


53 


48.5 


0,321.10 


"to Breed's Island . 


128 


28 


53 7 


308 


27 


18.0 


4,149/66 


Breed's Island to Governor's Isl'd . 


3 


18 


12.0 


183 


18 


4.7 


4,302.09 


" " to E. B. Reservoir . 


04 


20 


27 


244 


19 


20.4 


2,527.81 


" to Powderhorn 


121 


4 


20.2 


301 


3 


25.1 


2,183.19 


Governor's Isl'd to S. B. Sea Wall . 


90 


1 


41.9 


270 





l!».5 


2,815.54 


" " to Naval Hospital . 


143 


13 


55.7 


323 


12 


24.8 


5,152.23 


" to E. B. Reservoir, 


147 


30 


10.0 


327 


35 


10.2 


3,790.23 


" " to Powderhorn 


103 


20 


30.1 


343 


19 


42.3 


5,(559.37 


Powderhorn to E. B. Reservoir 


10 


24 


25.8 


190 


24 


13.8 


2,258.03 


" to Naval Hospital 


48 


27 


10.2 


228 


20 


33.1 


1,952.35 


to Prospect Som'ville, 


07 


20 


43.(5 


247 


18 


11.3 


5,598.05 


E. B. Reservoir to Naval Hospital . 


131 


20 


20.7 


311 


19 


49.7 


1,402.81 


Naval Hospital to Prospect Somer- 














ville . 


70 


53 


53.1 


250 


52 


3.9 


3,803.70 



Reference to the computations accompanying this report will show that 
there are many subsidiary lines, connecting the permanent stations of the 
preceding tables with stations upon prominent buildings within the city, 
which may well be used as bases for future surveys, provided the buildings 
are not destroyed. Of such lines, the more important are those leading 
to State Street Block, 1 Fitchburg Depot, and Waverley House Charles- 
town. 

The geodetic positions of these stations, and the lengths and azimuths of 
the bases derived from them, are given in the following tables : — 



STATION. 


Latitude. 


Longitude. 




o 


/ // 


o 






42 


21 31.000 


71 


2 47.056 




42 


21 58.380 


71 


3 20.584 




42 


22 15.579 


71 


3 25.378 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



35 





Azimuth. 


Length of 


BASE. 




Fore. 










Base in 
Meters. 




State Street to Governor's Island . 


o 

QUO 


AO. 


1 o 


o 

1 (Y> 


/ 

ACi 


ACi O 


3,449.83 


" "to Powderhorn . 






AA Q 


90 


90 


"ZK 9 


4,970.92 


" to S. B. Sea Wall 






10 R 


OUu 


'±0 


o.yj 


734.06 


" " to Naval Hospital 


184 


43 


47.1 


4 


43 


55.3 


3,372.97 


" to Waverley House . 


147 


5 


50.5 


327 


5 


24.7 


1,(!13.91 


Fitchburg Depot to Powderhorn . 


213 


10 


42.2 


33 


11 


56.1 


4,578.89 


" to Naval Hospital 


202 


23 


7.7 


22 


23 


38.5 


2,743.82 


" to Waverley H'se, 


168 


17 


57.8 


348 


17 


54.6 


541.69 


Waverley House to Naval Hospital, 


209 


55 


20 


29 


55 


36.0 


2,315.10 


" "to Prospect Som- 
















erville . 


114 


9 


31.6 


294 


8 


16.5 


2,794.66 



The preceding tables present, in a convenient form, the data necessary 
for any future extension of the harbor-survey, or for the ready reference 
to the Coast Survey triangulation of work done by the local engineers of 
many of the towns in the vicinity of Boston. Points in Cambridge, 
Somerville, Maiden, Everett, Revere, Chelsea, Winthrop, Lynn, or Na- 
hant, can be determined directly from one or more of the permanently 
marked bases. An exact description of the position of each station is 
given in the volume of the original records of the triangulation, labelled 
" Descriptions of Stations ; " and a copy of this volume may be referred 
to at any time, on application to the engineer of the Board of Harbor 
Commissioners. 

In the following tables the results of the triangulation are presented in 
the form which will best serve topographers in the execution of plane 
table surveys. The relative positions of all points are shown in the 
sketch of the triangulation appended to this report. Information as to 
the location of each point may be found in the volume of " Descriptions 
of Stations " above mentioned. 2 

1 Written " State Street" in the records and computations. 

2 For additional tables, see end of this Report. 



36 



HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



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PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



37 



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38 



HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 





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1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 39 



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HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' 



REPORT. 



Logarithms. 


3.3231964 
3.0365401 

2.5084oOJ 
2.8216095 

2.4401178 
2.4184912 


Distance. 


Meters. 

2,104.73 

1,087.78 

322.45 
663.15 

275.50 
262.11 


TO STATION. 


E. B. Elevator . 
State Street . 

So. Boston Sea wall . 
State Street . 

So. Boston Sea wall . 
"P.C." So. Boston Flats 


Back Azimuth. 


O ' " 

95 13 56.0 
124 53 37.7 

65 12 16.3 
335 51 22.7 

13 56 19.1 
300 16 31.9 


Azimuth. 


275 12 54.3 
304 53 11.4 

245 12 7.7 
155 51 30.7 

193 56 17.1 
120 16 38.6 






DP. 


Meters. 
596.3 • 

805.6 ' 

579.2 1 

i 


Longitude. 


71 3 26.056 
71 2 35.202 
71 2 25.310 


ft 


Meters. 
1,598.9 

371.6 

239.5 


Latitude. 


42 21 51.828 
42 21 12.046 
42 21 7.762 


NAME OF STATION. 


Lowell Depot, flag-staff 
" P.C. "(South Boston Flats) 
"C." South Boston Flats . 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



41 



The observations have all been made by Mr. McClintock and myself ; 
and experience has shown that there is no sensible difference in our habits 
of observing. In the record-books the observations marked -f- were made 
by me ; all not so marked were made by Mr. McClintock. It was our aim 
to make thirty-six measurements of each of the principal angles, dividing 
them into six sets, of six repetitions each, three direct and three reversed, 
the verniers always being read before reversal. Of the less important 
angles, twenty-four, eighteen, or twelve measurements were made. 

At the beginning of the work the Coast Survey theodolite No. 12 was 
used. It is a repeating instrument, made by Gambey of Paris: its hori- 
zontal circle is six inches in diameter, and is graduated to be read to ten 
seconds of arc by two equidistant verniers. The superior construction 
of this instrument is well known ; but, owing to its low telescopic power, 
it was not suitable for use on the longer lines of our work. Most of the 
angular measurements were made with a new theodolite, constructed for 
the Board, with special reference to the work, by Messrs. Buff & Berger 
of Boston. It is a repeating instrument, with a horizontal circle eight 
inches In diameter, graduated to be read to ten seconds of arc by two 
equidistant verniers; but it is easily read to five seconds by estimation. 
The object-glass has a clear aperture of an inch and a half, and a focal 
length of about eleven inches, which allows the telescope to be revolved 
in its bearings without making the wye standards of an unusual height. 

There are two achromatic eye-pieces, the magnifying powers of which 
are thirty and twenty-two diameters. The one of lower power was used 
throughout the work. The intersection of the spider-lines is such that 
the vertical angles are of sixty degrees. 

The angles of the main triangle, Blue Hill, Prospect Waltham, and 
Powderhorn, were measured with this instrument ;. and, when corrected 
for spherical excess, they " close " that triangle within forty -nine hun- 
dredths of a second of arc. Their probable errors, as computed by the 
method of least squares, are 0".32 at Blue Hill; 0".23 at Prospect Wal- 
tham; and 0".46 at Powderhorn. These results have been given else- 
where in this report; but I repeat them here, as perhaps the best proof 
that can be given of the superior construction of the Buff & Berger 
theodolite. 

That you may readily form an opinion as to the general accuracy of the 
triangulation, [ respectfully call your attention to the close agreement of 
the lengths of such of its lines as are determined through different series 
of triangles from the original base, aud to the results of an entirely inde- 
pendent test which Was made a few weeks ago, after the field-work had 
been otherwise finished. 

Mr. Edward 8. Philbrick, engineer in charge of the enclosure and 
filling of what is known as the twenty- fice-acre piece of South Boston Flats, 
in his report upon the completion of that improvement (Appendix A, 
Annual Report of Massachusetts Board of Harbor Commissioners, 1877), 
refers all the points and lines defining the same to a certain base-line, 
measured upon the flats by his assistant, Mr. Joseph O. Osgood. The 
connection of this line with our triangulation, through a triangle side 
removed nine steps from the original base, Blue Hill to Prospect Wal- 
tham, is the test above referred to. 



42 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



The length of the South Boston Flats base-line, as measured by Mr. 
Osgood, is 8G0.00 feet. The following are his notes upon its measure- 
ment as prepared for the Harbor Commissioners' report : — 

C. Copper tack in the top of a wooden post 6 inches square, set eight feet in 
the ground. It is at the centre of the curve of 910 feet radius in the Com- 
missioners' line, and is 67.05 feet from south-east corner of State dock-wall. 

P.C. Copper tack in the top of a wooden post 6 inches square, set 4 feet in the 
ground. It is at the P.C. (beginning) of curve of 8fi0 feet radius, and 22.35 
feet back from front top line of caps of Fort Point Channel light wall. 

Standard of measurement used is the city standard 100 feet measurement, 
back of City Hall. Corrections made for temperature. 

The length of this line C. to P.C, as determined from our triangula- 
tion, is S59.96 feet; differing but four-hundredths of a foot, or a trifle 
less than half an inch, from the length as measured by Mr. Osgood. The 
aggregate length of the lines of our work leading from Blue Hill, Pros- 
pect Waltham, to the South Boston Flats base-line, is about 62 miles. 

The results embodied in this report are derived from two entirely inde- 
pendent computations of the original observations. These computations 
were made by Mr. McClintock and myself, and by careful comparison 
and revision were made to exactly agree. 

The computations which accompany this report are my own, and the 
records are the original field-books of the triangulation. Mr. McClin- 
tock's computations accompany the carefully prepared duplicates of these 
records, together with a copy of this report ; all of which I will hold 
until you are pleased to instruct me as to the disposition which shall be 
made of them. 

During its progress, much interest in the work has been shown by local 
engineers in the vicinity of Boston. At Somerville the Coast Survey 
station was necessarily established upon a bluff which will probably be 
graded down some 18 or 20 feet during the next few years. We had 
not, there Core, regarded it as one of the permanent stations ; but, when 
visiting it for the purpose of providing a temporary marking, we were 
requested by Mr. G. A. Kimball, city engineer, to furnish points of ref- 
erence which would enable him to permanently mark the station. His 
request was complied with, and a substantial granite monument is now 
in position. Mr. "Kimball assures us that this monument will be care- 
fully reset whenever the grading is accomplished. 

Mr. Thomas Doane, president Boston Society of Civil Engineers, 
under date of Nov. 17, 1877, made a written request that a number of 
points might be determined for the use of local engineers, in connection 
with the " three-point problem; " and his request was complied with so 
far as could be done without entailing additional expense upon the survey. 

Following are the statistics of work done by my party : — 



Stations occupied 23 

Signals erected 23 

Points determined 49 

Angles measured 225 

Triangles computed 89 

Number of observations 5,868 



The total cost of the triangulation to date is about $2,300.00. 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 43 



The original records and computations transmitted to you herewith 
are : — 

5 vols, original records of horizontal angles observations. 
1 vol. computations of triangulation. 
1 vol. 1 descriptions of stations. 

While reference to the record-books will inform you of the exact 
amount of work executed by my assistant, Mr. William E. McClintock, 
I desire, in closing this report, to make a special acknowledgment of his 
valuable services. To the zeal and ability with which they have been 
rendered, the successful accomplishment of the triangulation is largely 
due. Very respectfully yours, 

FRANCIS BLAKE, Jun., 

Assistant United States Coast Survey. 

1 This volume has yet to be finished by Mr. McClintock, under direction of 
the Board, and will be forwarded to you as soon as possible. 



44 



HARBOR COMMISSIONERS- REPORT. 



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46 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



[CJ 

REPORT OF PROF. HENRY L. WHITING ON THE INSPEC- 
TION OF THE TOPOGRAPHY OF THE RE-SURVEY OF 
THE WHARF LINES OF BOSTON UPPER HARBOR. 

To Hon. C. P. Patterson, Superintendent United States Coast Survey, Washing- 
ton, B.C. 

Dear Sir, — I present herewith a report of the completion of the topo- 
graphical work connected with the re-survey of the wharf -lines of Boston 
Upper Harbor by the honorable Board of Harbor Commssioners, which, 
at their request, you directed me to supervise. 

This part of the survey has been executed by Mr. William E. McClin- 
tock, formerly of the Coast Survey, assisted by Mr. William T. Blunt, 
the assistant engineer and clerk of the commission. The working force 
of the field party has been reduced to the minimum; and, while the 
survey has been carried on efficiently, it has been done at less current 
expenditure than was allotted to it in the original estimate for this 
branch of the work. The result has been, that, while the greater cost 
of the triangulation left a reduced allowance for the topography, as much 
work has been done, and as large a part of the harbor frontage gone over, 
as was projected in the original plan of work. 

The accuracy and style of this survey are of the first order, and the 
details minutely represented. These include the marginal ground be- 
tween the outer faces of the wharves and the first street bordering the 
general wharf line. Within this space the outlines of all structures are 
determined. By a system of conventional signs, the character of each 
structure is expressed, — in wharves, distinguishing between pile- work 
and solid filling; and in buildings, between wood and brick or stone. 
This marginal work embraces a large amount of detail of value in the 
study and treatment of change and improvement in the harbor frontage. 

After consideration a larger scale was adopted by the commission for 
the maps of the re-survey than that used in the survey of 1860, '61, '62, 
by Mr. Boschke for the United States Advisory Council, which was ^qq- 
The change from this scale was mainly for the purpose of conforming to 
the metric system in measurement. The re-survey just made is contained 
upon twelve original plane-table sheets, on full-sized antiquarian paper, 
and fully occupying their space. Eleven of these sheets are on the scale 
of T q 1 q- -, and include Fort Point Channel from Dover Street Bridge to its 
mouth, the South Boston seawalls and dock, the frontage of the city 
proper, Charles River from the Navy Yard to West Boston Bridge, Chel- 
sea Creek from the Navy Yard to Meridian Street and Chelsea Bridges, 
with the improvements of the Lowell Railroad Company, and the south 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 47 



channel of Mystic River, and the frontage of East Boston. One sheet, on 
the scale of ^tfWj Eludes Charles lliver, on Cambridge basin, from West 
Boston Bridge to Brookline Bridge. 

In executing the topography on this large scale, it became necessary to 
add to the original triangulation of Mr. Blake by interpolated points 
along the immediate harbor frontage. Eighteen of these new points were 
determined by Mr. McClintock from the bases given by Mr. Blake. The 
total number of points of triangulation, as the complement determined in 
the re-survey, is sixty-seven. 

Owing to my required presence with my Coast Survey party on the 
Hudson River, and the recent closing of the Boston Harbor re-survey, I 
have neither had the time nor opportunity to verify all of the topography 
of the latter work. But those sheets which I have examined in the field 
have proved to be first-class in every respect. 

I understand your instructions to authorize my inspection of all the 
topographical work of this re-survey. It is the wish of the commission 
that I should do so at a future practicable and convenient time. Some 
supervision may also be desirable in the final treatment of the original 
sheets. 

The expenses of the survey have been carefully disbursed by the Com- 
missioners; and the work closed with the expenditure of the appropriation 
made for it. 

Respectfully submitted, 

HENRY L. WHITING. 



48 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



[D.3 

Boston, April 20, 1878. 

To the Honorable Senate and Ho use of Representatives of the United States in Con- 
gress assembled. 

The undersigned, Harbor Commissioners of the State of Massachusetts, 
authorized by law to memorialize Congress in behalf of the protection 
and improvement of the harbors of that Commonwealth, respectfully 
represent : 

That Scituate Harbor is one deserving protection and improvement. 

This harbor is situated at a protruding part of the outward trend of 
the western shore of Massachusetts Bay, arid nearly midway between 
Boston and Plymouth Harbors, being about thirteen miles from Boston 
Light, and about fifteen miles from Gurnet Light. In character Scituate 
Harbor is a shallow fiord, with no tributary inland waters. It is open to 
the eastward, but protected from the north and north-east by Cedar 
Point, which is the northern arm of the harbor. A spit makes out from 
this point, and serves as a further partial breakwater. This point is 
subject to the wasting action of the ocean, and has already been much 
reduced. The former light-house, which still remains, — although the 
light has been discontinued, — is situated upon the end of this point. 

Vessels forced upon this part of the coast in stress of weather, some- 
times cannot "weather" the Cohasset Rocks and Minot's Ledge, which 
lie between it and Boston Harbor. Coasters, fishing- vessels, and pleasure- 
boats and yachts, which, in cruising nearer the shore and in running the 
"gangway " passage through the Cohasset Rocks, pass closer to Scituate, 
and may make it a harbor when they cannot reach other shelter*. 

In view of the nature and capacity of Scituate Harbor, a large appro- 
priation and expensive work may not be expedient; but the Commis- 
sioners would urge that Cedar Point may be protected from further 
waste, and that some improvement in deepening the entrance of the har- 
bor may be made. 

F. W. LINCOLN. 
F. A. NYE. 
ALBERT MASON. 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



49 



[EJ 

STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS DURING THE YEAR END- 
ING DEC. 31, 1878, ON WORKS FOR THE IMPROVE- 
MENT OF RIVERS AND HARBORS IN THE STATE OF 
MASSACHUSETTS, UNDER THE CHARGE OF B'VT. 
BRIG. GEN'L GEORGE THOM, LIEUT. COL. OF EN- 
GINEERS. 

I. — Improvement of Boston Harbor, Massachusetts. 

Of the work projected for the continued improvement of this harbor, 
under the appropriation made therefor by the River and Harbor Act of 
Aug. 14, 1876, there remained uncompleted on the 1st of January, 1878, 
the following, viz. : — 

1. Under a contract made June 4, 1877, with Mr. George W. Townsend 
of Boston, Mass., for breaking up and removing, to a depth of 23 feet at 
mean low water, about 290 cubic yards of sunken ledges, situated in the 
main ship channel at the Upper Middle, and near (above and below) 
Kelly's Rock, the contractor had completed the removal of the only spur 
above Kelly's Rock (containing 26 t 4 q 2 q cubic yards), and 50 cubic yards of 
the ledge below Kelly's Rock ; leaving to be completed, on the 1st of Jan- 
uary, 1878, the removal of about 131-i cubic yards of the ledge below 
Kelly's Rock, and 82 cubic yards of ledge at the Upper Middle. 

2. The completion of the removal of the sunken bowlders and ledge 
scattered over Nash's Rock Shoal (situated in the entrance of Boston 
Harbor), so as to have a depth of not less than 20^ feet at mean low 
water, being an increase of about 7 feet in depth on its shoalest part. 
About one-half of this work was done by contract in 1876 ; and, of the 
remainder, about 320 tons of large bowlders and ledge were removed in 
Sept. 4 to Nov. 8, 1877, by. a submarine party, with vessel and crew hired 
by the day. Work was then suspended for the winter ; leaving only about 
45 tons to be removed for the completion of the work, which was entirely 
completed in August last. 

On the 8th of April, 1878, Mr. Townsend commenced work under his 
contract for the removal of the sunken ledge at the Upper Middle, of 
which he had broken up and removed, up to the 1st of July, 50 cubic 
yards ; and on the 20th of August the remaining 32 cubic yards were 
completed by him. He then resumed work upon the ledge below Kelly's 
Rock, and continued until the 1st of December, 1878, when he suspended 
work for the winter, on account of the boisterous and unfavorable weather ; 
he having, since the 20th of August, broken up and removed to grade 
107 cubic yards of this ledge, making altogether 157 cubic yards of it 
removed by him to date, and leaving but 24^ cubic yards of it to be done, 
for the entire completion of his contract. 



50 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



The sea wall, which was built in 1868 and 1869 for the protection and 
preservation of the south-east bluff of LovelPs Island, having been so 
much damaged by the violent easterly gales to which it is exposed as to 
render its reconstruction necessary for a length of about 600 feet of its 
southern part, it was decided to increase its height 4 feet (two courses), 
and to give additional thickness to it by means of concrete backing ; also 
to protect its foundation, and the stone in front of it, by means of a rub- 
ble-stone apron ; and to protect and preserve the bluff in its rear by a 
substantial paving of large blocks of split granite firmly imbedded in 
gravel and shingle. Proposals were invited on the 9th of May last for 
all the stone required for this work, for which seventeen bids were received, 
and opened on the 31st of May. Contracts were made with the lowest 
responsible bidders for the same, as follows, viz. : — 

With Mr. Isaac A. Sylvester of Quincy, Mass., for furnishing and 
delivering at Lovell's Island, — 

5,700 cubic feet, more or less, of dimension-cut granite, at 39 cents per 
cubic foot ; and 500 tons, more or less, of split granite, for paving, at 
$1.80 per ton of 2,240 pounds. 

Also with the Cape Ann Granite Company of Gloucester, Mass., for 

1,100 tons, more or less, of rubble-stone, at 59 cents per ton of 2,240 
pounds. 

All this stone has since been furnished and delivered under the con- 
tracts. A wharf was built on the south side of Lovell's Island for the 
purpose of receiving the stone; also a railway about 1,000 feet in length, 
leading from the wharf to the most northern end of the sea-wall. This 
work was carried on with hired labor from the middle of June until the 
9th of December, when it was suspended to be completed next spring. 
The reconstruction of the sea-wall (proper) has been completed, as well 
as the rubble-stone apron in front of it ; and the filling back of the wall 
has been completed to the height required for the back paving, leaving 
only the paving to be laid next spring, all the stone for which is now on 
hand. This work has, in part, been done under the appropriation of 
$55,000 made for the improvement of this harbor by the River and Har- 
bor Act of June 18, 1878. 

Under this same appropriation contracts have been made for the com- 
pletion of the works, upon the estimates for which the appropriation was 
based, viz. : — 

1. On the 15th of August, 1878, with Mr. Joseph E. Bartlett, the 
lowest of eight bidders for the removal of Man-of-war Shoal (situated in 
the upper harbor at the confluence of Charles and Mystic Rivers) to a 
depth of 23 feet at mean low water by 65,000 cubic yards, more or less, 
of dredging at 27 cents per cubic yard as measured in scows, the same 
to be completed on or before the 10th of June, 1879. 

2. On the 26th of August, 1878, with Mr. Isaac A. Sylvester of Quincy, 
Mass., the lowest of three bidders, for breaking up, and removing to a 
depth of 23 feet at mean low water, a sunken ledge situated near Kelly's 
Rock, containing 145 cubic yards, more or less, at $43 per cubic yard 
measured in situ, the same to be commenced on or before the 15th of 
April, 1879, and to be completed on or before the 1st of December, 1879. 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 51 



Dredging operations were commenced at the Man-of-war Shoal on the 
2Gth of August last, and have been carried on, day and night, up to the 
present time, resulting in about 35,000 cubic yards to date under the 
contract, whereby the work for the removal of this shoal is about one- 
half done. The contractor purposes to continue these operations through- 
out the winter unless prevented by ice or other difficulties. 

It having been found necessary to make some repairs on the several 
sea walls built on the north head of Lovell's Island, Gallop's Island, the 
north head of Long Island, the north head of Deer Island, and on Rains- 
ford's Island, this work was commenced on the 17th of September, and 
completed to the extent deemed necessary on the 29th of November; 
it having been done by hired labor, and with material purchased in open 
market. 

From the foregoing statement it is seen that the only work that now 
remains to be completed under the appropriations of Aug. 14, 1876, and 
June 18, 1878, consists of — 

1. The completion of the dredging at the Man-of-war Shoal, now about 
one-half done; 

2. The breaking up and removal of about 24|- cubic yards of sunken 
ledge below Kelly's Rock, under contract of June 4, 1877; and 

0. The breaking up and removal of about 145 cubic yards of sunken 
ledge below Kelly's Rock, under contract of Aug. 26, 1878. 

The work done previous to January, 1878, for the improvement of this 
harbor, in addition to the several works above described, consists of the 
following; viz., — 

1. — The main ship channel has been straightened, widened, and 
deepened, so as to have a width of not less than 600 feet, and a depth 
of 23 feet at mean low water at the following places: viz., — 

1. At the west end of Great Brewster Spit; 

2. At the south-east and south-west points of Lovell's Island ; 

3. At the Upper Middle Bar ; 

whereby this channel, from the entrance of the lower harbor up to 
Anchorage Shoal, has a width of not less than 600 feet, and a depth of 
23 feet at mean low water (or about 32^- feet at ordinary high water),- 
except at the Lower Middle where it requires widening, and near Kelly's 
Rock where obstructed by the sunken ledges recently discovered to be 
3£ feet shoal. 

II. — Sea walls have also been built, for the preservation and protection 
of the headlands in the harbor, at Point Allerton, Great Brewster Island, 
Lovell's Island (north head), Gallop's Island, Long Island (north head), 
Rainsford Island, and Deer Island (north, middle, and south heads); all 
of which are now generally in good condition. 

III. — Sunken rocks have also been broken up and removed as follows, 
viz. : — 

Kelly's Rock, Tower Rock, Corwin Rock, the ledges recently dis- 
covered at the west end of Great Brewster Spit, and between there and 
George's Island (all situated in the main ship channel at " the Narrows "), 
to a depth of 23 feet at mean low water. Barrel Rock in Broad Sound, 
State and Palmyra Rocks situated about one-half a mile east of Castle 
Island, have also been removed. 



52 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



Surveys and estimates have also been made and submitted to the U. S. 
Engineer Department, and an appropriation has been asked for the addi- 
tional works for the improvement of this harbor, viz. : — 

1. Deepening and widening the main ship channel at Anchorage Shpal 
(next above the Upper Middle) to a depth of 23 feet at mean low water, 
for an average width of 1,100 feet; this width being necessary, in this 
central position of the harbor, to enable vessels on entering or leaving the 
main channel to have free communication with all parts of the harbor, 
above and below, the estimated cost of which is . . . $90,000.00 

2. Increasing, to a width of 600 feet, the main ship channel at 

the Lower Middle, the estimated cost of which, is . 5,000.00 

3. Straightening, widening, and deepening the main channel 

near the Navy Yard and mouth of Mystic River, so as to 
have a depth of 23 feet at mean low water, for a width of 
300 feet, the estimated cost of which is 70,000.00 



Total $165,000.00 



IT. — Merrimac River, including the Harbor of Newburyport, 

Massachusetts. 

The project adopted for the improvement of this river consists in 
deepening its shoals by dredging, and the removal of sunken rocks from 
its channel, so as to afford a depth of 12 feet at ordinary high water, 
from its mouth in Newburyport Harbor in Massachusetts, up to Haver- 
hill (a distance of 15 miles), and thence for a distance of about 4 miles, 
up through "the falls," a depth of 4 feet in the ordinary stages of 
the liver; and that for the improvement of Newburyport Harbor con- 
sists in the removal of the Gangeway Rock and the North (Gangeway) 
Rocks, to a depth of 9 feet at mean low water, the removal of the 
" Boilers" (a sunken ledge near the city wharves) to a depth of 5 feet at 
mean low water, and other obstructions to navigation lying in the main 
channel near the mouth of Black Rocks Creek, and elsewhere. 

For the improvement of the river above Newburyport Harbor, the fol- 
lowing work has been completed, to date, viz : — 

The channel completed at Hazeltine Rapids, Lower Falls, and Upper 
Falls (above Haverhill, Mass.), so as to be navigable through " the falls " 
for a depth of 4 feet in all stages of the river, except in an unusually 
low stage, resulting from shutting off the water at the Lawrence Mills on 
Sundays and at night; shoals dredged, and sunken bowlders removed from 
the channel at and near Rock's Bridge (6^ miles below Haverhill), includ- 
ing Little Currier Rock above, and Petty Rock below the bridge, greatly 
improving this, the most dangerous part of the river below Haverhill; the 
channel opened by dredging, for a width of 100 feet, to the projected 
depth, viz., 12 feet at ordinary high water, at Currier's Shoal (distant 
about 5 miles below Haverhill) ; also to the same depth, and for a width 
of 75 feet, at the shoals near the head and foot of Silsby's Island, from 1 
to 2 miles below Haverhill. The shoal between the two bridges at 



1879.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



53 



Haverhill has also been improved by dredging- so as to have a channel 10 
feet in depth at ordinary high water, and numerous large bowlders have 
been removed from the channel at and near "the falls" above Haver- 
hill; also about 80 tons of bowlders have been removed from the channel 
near the head of Silsby's Island. 

For the improvement of Newburyport Harbor, the following work has 
also been done, viz.: — 

1. The Gangeway Rock, for the most part reduced to grade in the 
year 1870, and the sunken wreck of the schooner "Globe," entirely 
broken up and removed in the same year. Under the appropriation of 
-110,000, made by the River and Harbor Act of June 18, 1878, a contract 
was made Aug. 10, 1878, with Mr. Isaac A. Sylvester of Quincy, Mass. 
(the lowest of five bidders), for breaking up and removing, to a depth of 
9 feet at mean low water, 300 cubic yards, more or less, of the North 
(Gangeway) Rocks, at $28 per cubic yard, measured in situ. Work was 
commenced under this contract on the 24th of August, 1878, and prose- 
cuted up to the 20th of December, whereby about 170 cubic yards of the 
rock has been removed to grade, with a probability of the completion of 
the contract in the time required, viz., not later than the 30th of June, 
1879. 

The work then remaining to be done for the further improvement of 
this harbor will consist of, — 

1. Completing the breaking up and removal of about 160 cubic yards 
of the North (Gangeway) Rocks, to a depth of 9 feet at mean low water. 

2. Completing the removal of the main " Gangew^ay Rock," to a 
depth of 9 feet at mean low water, where shown by recent surveys to 
have (in one place) less than the required depth. 

3. Breaking up and removing about 350 cubic yards of "The 
Boilers " to a depth of 5 feet at mean low water. 

4. Removing four dilapidated sunken piers, abreast of Black Rocks 
Creek, — they being formidable obstructions to navigation, — one of them 
having but 6 feet of water over it at mean low water. 

5. Removing a very large bowlder, 15' x 13', by 7' high, which lies in 
15 feet of water, in the main channel between the north and south piers, 
and has but 8 feet of water over it at mean low water. 

The appropriation of $10,000, made for this harbor by the River and 
Harbor Act of June 18, 1878, will all be applied to the partial removal 
of the North (GangeVay) Rocks, to the extent contracted for; and for 
the further improvement of the harbor, the additional sum of $15,000 
has been asked, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1880. 

III. — Improvement of Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts. 

The existence of this harbor depends entirely upon the protection and 
preservation of Long Beach ; which is a narrow strip of land that extends 
2f miles out from the mainland, in a north-westerly direction, nearly 
parallel to the shore of the town of Plymouth, and distant from it about 
one mile. It affords to the harbor its only shelter from easterly storms. 
In late years it has been washed away in some places, and much 



54 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



weakened in others, to an extent seriously threatening the ruin of the 
harbor. For the protection and preservation of this beach, various 
works have been built, from time to time, until finally they have proved 
efficient and successful. 

These works consist of bulkheads, jetties, and groins, built for the 
accumulation of sand, and the planting of beach-grass, also to accumulate 
sand and give permanency to the beach thus formed ; whereby a ridge 
has been formed throughout the whole extent of the beach, which is for 
the most part covered with beach-grass, and is now in an efficient 
condition. 

Exposed as this beach is to injury from violent easterly storms, it 
necessarily requires occasional repairs. For the permanent preservation 
of the extreme outer end of the beach, near the beacon, a rubble-stone 
bulkhead has been built. But, owing to its exposed position, the beach 
has not grown to the extent desired ; so that it has been found necessary 
to extend this bulkhead farther round the end of the beach. 

Under the appropriation of $5,000 made for this harbor by the River 
and Harbor Act of June 18, 1878, the work for the extension of the stone 
bulkhead, and the repairs of the other works where necessary, has been 
carried on from the 20th of August to the end of November last, — the 
work having been done by hired labor, with stone and other materials 
purchased in open market. This work has all been completed, with the 
exception of the stone bulkhead, which has been suspended for the 
winter, with a probability of its early completion next season. 

Under an appropriation of $10,000 by the River and Harbor Act of 
March 3, 1875, for the improvement of this harbor, a channel was 
opened, by dredging from the Middle Ground up to Long Wharf, a 
distance of about 2,500 feet, to a depth of 6 feet at mean low water 
(or 16 feet at mean high water), and for a width of 50 feet. 

The project originally provided for a channel 100 feet in width, to be 
extended southward to the mouth of Town Brook, a distance of about 
900 feet above Long Wharf, so as to form a basin in front of the wharves 
of the city, 125 feet in width, with a depth of 8 feet at mean low water. 

For the completion of this project, the additional sum of $25,000 was 
asked in my last annual report to the chief of engineers, since published 
by Congress. 

IV. — Improvement of Provincetown Harbor, Massachusetts. 

Under the appropriation of $1,000 made by the River and Harbor Act 
of June 18, 1878, for the preservation and improvement of this harbor, 
operations have been confined to the extension of the stone bulkhead on 
Long Point, and planting beach-grass at Cove Section along the beach 
newly formed by the bulkhead and jetties built in 1874. This work was 
commenced in the latter part of August, and continued until the first of 
October ; in which time 506 tons of rubble stone was placed in the bulk- 
head, beach-grass planted, and the repairs completed where necessary on 
all the works built for the preservation and improvement of this harbor; 
so that they are now in excellent condition, fully answering the purpose 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



55 



for which they were designed. They will, however, require continual 
watching and occasional repairs, exposed as they are to injury from the 
violent storms which at times occur in that locality. For this purpose an 
additional appropriation of $1,000 was recommended in my last annual 
report . 

V. — Survey of Scituate Harbor, Massachusetts. 

A survey of this harbor, with a view to its adaptability as a harbor of 
refuge, was made under my direction in September last, as called for by 
the River and Harbor Act of June 18, 1878; and a special report thereon 
has been forwarded to the chief of engineers, U.S. Army, together with 
a map, plan, and estimates for the work. 

VI. — Survey of Charles River, Massachusetts. 

A survey of this river to the head of tide-water, with a view to the 
improvement of its navigation, was made under my direction in Novem- 
ber last, as called for by the River and Harbor Act of June 18, 1878; and 
a special report thereon has been forwarded to the chief of engineers, 
U.S. Army, together with maps, plans, and estimates for the work. 



56 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



[FJ 



ABSTRACT OF REPORT OF GEN. G. K. WARREN 



TO 



Chief of U. S. Engineers, for 1878. 



B 1. 



IMPROVEMENT OF HYANNI9 HARBOR, MASSACHUSETTS. 



Hyannis is situated on the south side of Cape Cod, on Nantucket 
Sound. Hyannis Harbor is the sheltered area between the breakwater 
and the shore. 

This breakwater is about 1,170 feet long, with a depth of 12 feet at 
mean low water between it and the shore. It was begun in 1828, and 
continued with few interruptions until 1837; $70,931.82 having been ex- 
pended upon it. In 1853 $5,000 was expended in repairing the east end. 

Since 1870 $37,000 has been expended in rebuilding the part above 
water, and increasing the width of the part below low water. 

Nothing has been done on the breakwater at this place during the fiscal 
year. 

An appropriation of $3,000 was made by Act of Congress approved 
June 18, 1878, for continuing the improvement. With this amount it is 
proposed to strengthen the breakwater by putting riprap granite about its 
base, so as to increase the slope to one on two on the seaward side, and 
one on one on the shore side. 

A history of this work was given in the Annual Report of the Chief of 
Engineers for 1875, part ii., pp. 266-268. 

The amount then estimated as required to complete the work was 
$10,000. This amount, less the amount appropriated this year, is needed 
to give the work the required width of base. 

I would call attention to the importance of putting a light-house on the 
east end of the breakwater instead of the present one on the shore. 

Hyannis is in the Barnstable collection district. Barnstable is the nearest 
port of entry. The amount of revenue collected there during the fiscal year 
ending June 30, 1878, is not known to this office. 



Money Statement. 

July 1, 1877, amount available 

Amount appropriated by Act approved June 18, 1878 . 



$42 94 
3,000 00 



July 1, 1878, amount expended during fiscal year. 



$3,042 1)4 
42 94 



July 1, 1878, amount available 



1879.J PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 83. 57 

Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing 

project $7,000 00 

Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year end- 
ing June 30, 1880 7,000 00 



B 2. 

IMPROVEMENT OF WAREHAM HARBOR, MASSACHUSETTS. 

This harbor is an estuary joining Buzzard's Bay near its upper or 
northern end. The part improved by the general government extends 
from Wareham, where it is crossed by a railway and a highway bridge, 
neither of which has draws, to Buzzard's Bay, a distance of 2 miles. 
The improvement of this harbor, which was completed in 1876, was to 
make a channel 9 feet deep at mean low water, and from 100 to 300 feet 
wide, in the upper part of the harbor; and 10 feet deep, and from 250 to 
300 feet wide, in the lower part of the harbor. The mean rise of the tide 
is 4 feet. The depth before the improvement commenced was 1\ feat at 
mean low water, in a narrow and crooked channel. 

A history of the improvement may be found in Annual Report of the 
Chief of Engineers for 1877, part i., pp. 194-196. The work done under 
the last two appropriations was at a much less price than estimated, so 
that we had about $2,000 remaining on hand when the improvement was 
completed. With this amount it was deemed best to build a " sand- 
catcher " along Long Beach, to arrest the sand carried over it by the 
waves in storms into the harbor. This work was commenced last season, 
and will be completed in this season. 

No further appropriation is needed, unless a greater depth is required 
than when the plan was adopted. 

Wareham is a port of delivery. It is in the New Bedford collection district, 
and New Bedford is the nearest port of entry. The amount of revenue 
collected there during the fiscal year ending July 30, 1878, was $23,762 33. 



Money Statement. 

July 1, 1877, amount available $2,057 74 

July 1, 1878, amount expended during fiscal year .... 1,153 38 

July 1, 1878, amount available 904 36 



B 3. 

IMPROVEMENT OF NEW BEDFORD HARBOR, MASSACHUSETTS. 

This harbor is an arm of Buzzard's Bay on its north shore, and receives 
the waters of the Acushnet River. It is the terminus of the New Bed- 
ford division of the Boston, Clinton, and Fitchburg Railroad, by means 
of which it has become a large distributing point for anthracite coal. 
There are also large manufacturing establishments, and it has the largest 



58 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



whale-fishing fleets of any port on our coast. The population of New 
Bedford, and Fair Haven opposite it, is about 25,000. 

A survey was made by authority of Congress in 1874, a report of which 
is printed in the Annual Report for 1875, part ii., pp. 283-287. The 
project submitted was to make a channel 200 feet wide and 15 feet deep 
at mean low water, from the deep water in front of Fair Haven to the 
wharves at New Bedford across the shoals, where the ruling depth be- 
fore was 12J feet at mean low water. The mean rise of the tide is 3.7 
feet. 

The depth of 15 feet was adopted here because that was about all that 
vessels could carry over the shoals before reaching Fair Haven. 

The amount estimated to complete the work was $24,000. 

An appropriation of $10,000 was made by Act approved March 3, 1875. 
Contract with the lowest bidder, the Atlantic Dredging Company, for 
17^ cents per cubic yard, made a channel 15 feet deep and 105 feet wide. 
The line of it is straight from deep water at Fair Haven to Commercial 
Wharf, New Bedford, the first location being a little changed to secure 
better ranges for sheeriug. 

Another appropriation of $10,000 was made by act approved Aug. 14, 
1876, but the work was not authorized until the following April. A con- 
tract was made with Mr. W. H. Molthrop (Morris F. Brainard doing the 
work), the lowest bidder, at 10^ cents per cubic yard. The low price 
caused delays in executing the contract, and the time had to be extended 
to June 30, 1877. 

The low price not only enabled us to complete the channel to the width 
first planned, but to increase it to a width of 300 feet, and to extend it 
nearly 1,000 feet farther up the harbor along the harbor-line in front of 
the wharves occupied by the whalers, and to the channel leading to the 
basin above the bridge. 

The Reading Railroad Company have done considerable dredging from 
this new channel to their wharves. 

The material dredged by the government was first dumped in Clarke's 
Cove, afterward east of Egg Islands, both places entirely out of the 
harbor. 

No appropriation was asked for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1879. 
None is asked for the succeeding fiscal year, as the improvement, as far 
as authorized, is completed. 

The operations in the last fiscal year were superintended by Mr. H. A. 
Bentley, assistant engineer. 

Money Statement. 

July 1, 1877, amount available $9,654 60 

July 1, 1878, amount expended during fiscal year .... 8,852 78 

July 1, 1878, amount available 801 82 



1879.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



59 



B 4. 

IMPROVEMENT OF FALL RIVER HARBOR, MASSACHUSETTS. 

Fall River, the largest cotton-manufacturing town in the United States, 
is situated on Mount Hope Bay, an arm of Narragansett Bay. Fall River 
Harbor is that part of the bay in front of the town. The part improved 
by the general government lies between the Rodman Wharf and the 
wharf used by the steamers running to Providence, a distance of about 
1,500 feet. The improvement sought was a channel 12 feet deep, and 
100 feet wide at the narrowest part, at mean low water, where the depth 
was from 6 to 12 feet. The mean rise of tide is 4.7 feet. The harbor 
was surveyed in September, 1873; and a report with plan and estimates 
submitted by me Dec. 31, 1873, and printed in Annual Report of the 
Chief of Engineers for 1874, part ii., pp. 284-286. 

The amount estimated as necessary to complete the improvement as 
designed was $45,000. 

By Act of Congress approved June 23, 1874, $10,000 was appropriated 
for this work. With this amount the bowlders lying on the surface were 
removed by contract, at the rate of $3.50 per ton. The amount removed 
under this contract was l,047f tons of bowlders, and 364 tons of gravel 
and small bowlders. An additional appropriation of $10,000 was made 
by Act of Congress approved March 3, 1875. This, with the unexpended 
funds of the previous appropriation, was expended in removing, by con- 
tract, 21,222.19 cubic yards of material, including bowlders of 2 cubic 
yards and less, at 48 cents per cubic yard, and 136.53 cubic yards of 
bowlders over that size. 

By Act of Congress approved Aug. 14, 1876, $10,000 was appropriated 
for this work. This was expended, by contract, during the present fiscal 
year, in removing 12,857^ cubic yards of material, including bowlders of 
1 cubic yard, at 55 cents per cubic yard, and 176.34 cubic yards of bowl- 
ders over 1 cubic yard in size, at $8.40 per yard. 

The low prices at which the dredging was done enabled us to make a 
channel 160 feet wide and 12 feet deep, with an additional width of 100 
feet 11 feet deep at mean low water, with the $30,000 appropriated. The 
original estimate was $45,000 for a channel 100 feet wide. The cost of 
dredging was estimated at $1 per cubic yard : it was done at 48 and 55 
cents. 

The improvement is now completed with a channel of the depth sought 
and an increased width. 

This improvement is in the Fall River collection district, and Fall River is 
the port of entry. The amount of revenue collected there during the fiscal 
year ending June 30, 1878, is $18,970.05. 

The work during the past year has been under the superintendence of 
Mr. H. A. Bentley, assistant engineer. In November and December, 
1875, while the improvement - was being prosecuted, tidal observations 
for a lunation were made in order to establish a mean low water plane, 
and determine the rise and fall of tide. The following is a table of these 
observations: — 



60 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. 



Date. 


High 


Low 


Date. 


High 


_ 




water. 


water. 




water. 


water. 


1875. 




Feet. 


Feet. 


1875. 


Feet 


Feet 




o.o 


9 d. 


November 24 


5.9 




10 


ft 7 


.S.U 




O.V) 


O A 

-.4 




1 n 


1 w 
l.o 


97 


o.o 




12 


7.1 


1.4 


29 . 


7.0 


19 


is 


7.4 


1.0 


30 . 


6.2 


1.7 


15 


7.5 


1.4 


December 1 . 


6.7 


2.0 


16 


7.2 


1.0 


2 


6.4 


2.3 


17 


6.8 


1.3 


3 \ 


6.2 


2.7 


18 


6.1 


1.5 


4 . 


6.5 


2.2 


20 


5.6 


2.1 


6 . 


6.4 


2.4 


22 


6.4 


2.0 • 


7 . 


6.6 


2.1 


23 


6.6 


2.5 








Mean rise and fall, 4.7 feet. Mean low water is referred to a bench-mark, which is the 



top of the foundation-stone at the north-west corner of Massasoit Flour Mill. It is 9 feet 7 



inches above mean low water. An arrow cut in the stone points to the mark. 

Money Statement. 

July 1, 1877, amount available $10,256 47 

July 1, 1878, amount expended during fiscal year .... 10,256 47 



B 5. 

IMPROVEMENT OF TAUNTON RIVER, MASSACHUSETTS. 

This estuary, or so much of it as has been improved by the general 
government, extends from Weir to Dighton, a distance of about six miles, 
where it joins or widens out into a bay. The name Taunton River is, 
however, sometimes applied to this estuary as far down as Fall River, 
7£ miles below. At Weir it is spanned by a draw-bridge, with two open- 
ings of about 40 feet each. At low water the river is in many places less 
than 100 feet in width, and before dredging there was not more than 1 
foot depth in the shoalest places. The mean rise and fall of tide at 
Dighton is 5.28 feet ; at Weir, since the improvement, 3.41 feet : before 
any improvements were made, it was probably not greater than 2^ feet 
at the latter place, but the exact range then is not known. 

The improvement sought at first was to get small sailing-vessels up to 
Weir. In 1852 a survey was made by Lieut. Rosecrans ; and in Decem- 
ber, 1853, an estimate for a channel 60 feet wide and 4 feet deep at mean 
low water was submitted by Capt. George Dutton, United States Engi- 
neers. In March, 1870, Capt. J. A. Smith, United States Engineers, 
in a report upon this improvement, estimated for a channel of the same 
dimensions as that of Capt. Dutton. An appropriation of $10,000 was 
made by Congress July 11, 1870, and another appropriation of $10,000 
by Act approved March 3, 1871. These amounts were expended in dredg- 
ing a channel through the " Needles." On the completion of this 
dredging, Gen. Thorn, United States Engineers, had a survey made, 
and from this survey made an estimate of the amount of material to be 
removed to secure a channel 9 feet deep at mean high water up to Weir. 



1879.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 33. 



61 



The amount estimated as necessary to be removed was 31,000 cubic yards, 
or about twice as mucli as for the improvement of Capt. Dutton in 1853 
and Capt. Smith in 1870. 

It will be observed that the depth sought in Gen. Thorn's plan was 
9 feet at high water, while that estimated for by Capts. Dutton and 
Smith was 4 feet at mean low water. This, with the mean rise of about 
3£ feet at Weir, would give a draught of about 7^ feet at mean high 
water. 

At the time the first estimates were made, only small sailing-vessels 
ascended the river at high- water; and the smallest of these only went 
above the obstructions at the "Needles," the others unloading below. 
As soon as the channel was dredged through the " Needles," larger 
vessels were employed, and tugs used to tow them up and down the river. 

This work was transferred to my charge July 1, 1872. The appropria- 
tion of $10,000 made by Act approved June 10, 1872, was expended by 
me in dredging a channel through Burt's Shoal and Pond's Rocks Shoal, 
60 feet wide and 4£ to 5 feet deep at mean low water, in accordance with 
the plan submitted by Gen. Thorn. Surveys were made during the 
season of the shoals not before surveyed. A set of observations were 
made to establish the low r and high water planes from Dighton to Weir. 
The appropriations of $10,000 made by Act approved March 3, 1873, and 
$10,000 by act approved June 23, 1874, were expended in dredging and 
removing bowlders. In April, 1873, a survey was made of the channels 
dredged, of the shoal above Berkley Bridge, of the obstructions at the 
• • ]S'ook " at Peter's Point, and of Cobb's Shoal at Dighton. No detailed 
examinations had been made at these points, and only approximate esti- 
mates for the removal of the obstructions. 

As before stated, vessels are almost invariably towed up and down this 
river. The tugs, with their vessels and scows, start from Dighton on the 
flood-tide as soon as they can cross the rocks and shoals in that part of 
the river, in order to reach Weir by or before high water, and that a new 
tow can be formed to take down the river on the first of the ebb 

If any delay occurs in taking the tow up, so that they cannot leave 
Weir until after ebb has commenced, they will not reach the obstructions 
at and near Dighton until the tide has fallen 2 feet. Here, then, under 
these circumstances, we would not have secured a 9-foot draught for 
vessels by making 9 feet depth at mean high water. To do this it was 
determined to make in the work below the k ' Needles ' ' 10 feet depth at 
mean high water. 

With the $10,000 appropriated by Act approved March -3, 1875, a chan- 
nel 10 feet deep at mean high water was dredged through Cobb's Shoal 
at Dighton, and of the same depth at Wikamount, and bowlders removed 
from the " Nook," and the point of the ledge extending into the channel- 
way at Peter's Point. This completed the improvement designed to 
allow vessels of 9-feet draught to ascend to Weir at time of mean high 
water, except the shoal at Berkley Bridge and some bowlders scattered 
along the channel and in sharp bends. 

To do this it was estimated $5,000 would be required. With 9 feet 
secured in this river, except on the sand-shoal at Berkley Bridge, which 



62 HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. [Jan. '79. 



lacks but a few inches of the required depth, vessels and barges have 
been employed drawing nearly or quite this depth ; and as the tugs start 
with them at Dighton before high water, they strike at Berkley Bridge 
Shoal, and often at new shoals and bowlders above, which probably have 
9 feet at mean high water, but not at any lower stage of the tide. 

The barges used here are very long, and frequently in making the 
short turns strike both banks of the channel. 

The bowlders are dangerous ^ obstructions ; and with the $2,000 appro- 
priated by Act of Congress approved June 18, 1878, it is proposed to 
remove them as far as the funds will pay for. The removal of Berkley 
Shoal to 10 feet depth at mean high water would allow vessels to go far- 
ther up before striking ; but it is deemed best to leave this as a limiting 
depth, and use the available funds in removing bowlders to give increased 
depth and width. The improvement of this river will be substantially 
completed, as designed, to give 9 feet draught with the expenditure of 
$5,000, estimated for by me in Annual Report of Chief of Engineers for 
1876, part i., pages 205, 206. This will require an appropriation of 
$3,000 in addition to the amount now available ; which is asked for the 
fiscal year ending June 30, 1880. 

A larger channel would be desirable, and no doubt will be asked for; 
but, with the completion of the improvement as originally designed, I 
do not feel authorized to estimate for any thing more. 

Taunton River is in the Fall River collection district. The amount of reve- 
nue collected during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878, was $18,970.05. 

Money Statement. 

July 1, 1877, amount available $100 93 

Amount appropriated by Act approved June 18, 1878 . 2,000 00 

$2,100 93 

July 1, 1878, amount expended during fiscal year .... 100 93 

July 1, 1878, amount available . 2,000 00 



Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project . 3,000 00 
Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending 

June 30, 1880 3,000 00